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While team shops him, Dwight Howard tells Magic “take a chance” on me

Mar 15, 2012, 1:32 AM EDT

Dwight Howard AP

It’s actions, not words that matter.

Dwight Howard told the Magic Wednesday night to take a chance on him again, like they did when he was 18. Trust him.

“They took a chance on me at 18,” Howard said (transcribed from the Orlando Sentinel’s postgame video). “And what did I do? I gave them everything I had for eight years. Take a chance again.”

But Magic ownership sees a guy that earlier that day told his teammates and members of the front office that he would opt-in and spend another year with the Magic — then hours later said he would not give up his right to terminate his contract this summer. He would not give up his rights to walk away after this season and leave the Magic empty handed. Ownership sees a Howard that wants his cake and to eat it to — to make a playoff run with a good Magic team then test free agency.

Even as late as 1:30 am Thursday morning came a report from Jarrod N Rudolph of RealGM that in an exclusive interview Howard told him again he would opt-in for next season. That he would send the paperwork in Thursday morning.

The Magic will believe it when they see it. As they should — actions not words. In the short term they feel they have no choice — Magic officials are burning up the phones talking to other teams, looking to move Howard before the 3 p.m. Thursday trade deadline, according to multiple sources such as Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo.

The Nets — Howard’s preferred destination — have a package centered around Brook Lopez and a couple first round picks, along with other players. The Rockets and Lakers, both long time suitors of Howard, are making a push. The Magic are reaching out to teams like the Knicks to see if a package involving Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler is a possibility. They are talking to everyone.

But Howard really doesn’t want to be traded. Here is what he said following the Magic’s loss to the Spurs Wednesday night (transcribed from the Orlando Sentinel’s video of his postgame remarks).

“They know how I feel,” Howard said. “I’ve expressed that to my teammates. I’ve expressed that to ownership, and it’s on them now. I’ve done my job. I haven’t changed. And despite whatever is being said, I’m still the same person. If you want to scrutinize me for taking care of Dwight, then that’s fine….

“I’ve sat down with them on numerous occasions about what we can do together, but I can’t do it all myself. I want them to help. I want them to be involved in changing Orlando. That’s always been my goal. And if that don’t know what to do. But I want to continue to play…

“They took a chance on me at 18. And what did I do? I gave them everything I had for eight years. Take a chance again. I go out every night and play hard. If I didn’t want to win I would have dogged it, but I can’t do that. That’s not who I am. And look where we are. We’re in a great position. All I said was take a chance. They took a chance on me at 18 when everybody else said ‘no, don’t do it.’ It looked stupid at first, but look now. It’s the same situation. That’s it. I understand their situation “

If he really understands their situation, he’ll understand why they have to trade him. They can’t trust him not to walk away at the end of the season now. He lost that. Because of his actions.

  1. abchome - Mar 15, 2012 at 1:37 AM

    Childish, selfish, ridiculous! Just trade him to end the drama and move on!

  2. asublimeday - Mar 15, 2012 at 1:39 AM

    Manipulative turd. Get what you can, Orlando.

    • losangelasbasketball - Mar 15, 2012 at 2:07 AM

      It appears Howard is trying to set up the Orlando ownership for a huge loss just like Lebron did to Cleveland… not sure if this is the case but it seems that way… whatever, there are classier players in the NBA to watch…

    • florida727 - Mar 15, 2012 at 8:38 AM

      If he was sincere about wanting to exercise his option to stay there next year, then why does he wait until (literally) the eleventh hour to submit the paperwork to ownership? Talk is cheap. PROVE yourself with actions, Dwight, otherwise you leave ownership no option. It IS a business, both for you AND ownership. Based on your ACTIONS, they have to protect their interests, and that of their fans. You’re FORCING them to try and trade you.

  3. kenyanteg123 - Mar 15, 2012 at 1:42 AM

    It seems like the Magic have Dwight right where they want him, but at the same time Dwight has the Magic right where he wants them as well. It’s like a game of Russian Roulette at this point. The first person to turn around and shoot at the count of 10 will survive.

  4. goforthanddie - Mar 15, 2012 at 1:46 AM

    “They know how I feel,” Howard said.
    They know you’re too immature to handle your business like a man. They know your word means nothing. Give it up, your rep is shot already.

  5. torothebronxbull - Mar 15, 2012 at 1:52 AM

    Why should they “take a chance”? LMAO! if u say you’re gonna opt in, then sign the papers…why is that so hard? I’ll tell you why, cuz he’s gonna walk in the offseason. He doesn’t want the Nets to mortgage the farm to get him, so that when he gets there he won’t be in the same predicament he’s in now…no help…Good for you Magic! Get what you can, and if I were you, I wouldn’t even take his considerations into account….Shit, if the Hornets offer you 5 1st round picks, then guess what, your a Hornet buddy…and make sure it’s a sign and trade so he doesn’t shit on them at the end of the season.

  6. ningenito78 - Mar 15, 2012 at 1:59 AM

    Pretty simple. He wants a chance this year to play for a title and move on next year. This way if they win, he can say ‘gave you guys a ring’. If they lose ‘what more can I do?’. Then he, in his mind, doesn’t look like the bad guy. What his superficial mind hasn’t processed yet is he’s already the bad guy. May as well just state publicly what you want and be ready to become LeBron James 2.0.

  7. somekat - Mar 15, 2012 at 2:04 AM

    I’d give them Iggy, Hawes, and 2 first round picks for him right now

    Worst case for the sixers, they lose Iggy’s contract, and Hawes, play out the year with Howard, and when he walks they can amnesty Brand and have a boatload of money to spend. Or don’t , and just have a crap load of money to spend. But you never know, I really like a Holiday/Turner/Brand/Young/Howard, with Meeks/LouWill/Vucavic/Allen lineup.Maybe he’d stay. I wouldn’t expect a lot out of Allen, but he’s the 4th big with Howard, so I wouldn’t expect much anyway. Plus you can run Williams with Meeks or Holiday up top, and slide Turner to the 3 and Young to the 4. Should wreak havoc on passing lanes with Howard to back them up

    For the Magic, It wouldn’t suprise me at all if htey are getting better offers. It but the teams involved they are talking to, I’m not so sure. Bynum and Gasol from LA, sure. If that’s on the table, is better. Either or I’m not so sure. Iggy is a young all star, Hawes is a double double guy with good touch when healthy. Plus those picks could he ok picks if Howard walks and the sixers don’t sign a FA.

    This is more just me hoping the Magic panic, and decide to move him, but don’t want to send him to any of his choice destinations. If that is the case, this may be a good deal for them. Would a 3rd first help? lol

  8. ezmagic - Mar 15, 2012 at 2:08 AM

    Sign and turn in the papers asap Dwight. Stay at least 1 more year. That’s the only way to come out of this as not the most hated athlete on planet earth.

  9. ccraig232 - Mar 15, 2012 at 2:15 AM

    Already has changed his mind again. Now he will sign the ETA paperwork in the morning. This guy is a joke and he has a long way to go to repair his image with Magic fans.

  10. glink123 - Mar 15, 2012 at 2:22 AM

    This clown actually makes Brett Favre look decisive.

  11. detroitcityryda - Mar 15, 2012 at 2:25 AM

    I think he’s doing something very smart to get them to make calls then tomorrow news will leak which teams are interested if it’s a team howard likes and wants to go he’l just sit back and get traded ,if its a team looking to rent him for the rest of the season and he’s not interested he will send them the papers and opt in for another year.

  12. gq2scoops - Mar 15, 2012 at 2:25 AM

    Haha who wants to deal with this? This is exactly why high schools kids shouldn’t jump right to the NBA…Howard and LeBron are both clueless as far as how to handle their careers and making good P.R. moves…Go to college…Get your education!!!

  13. ningenito78 - Mar 15, 2012 at 2:32 AM

    He’s leaving. Get the hint Orlando. He’s gone. He just wants to try to squeeze this year’s playoff run out of them. Then he wants to start his next life.

  14. vikesorgtfo - Mar 15, 2012 at 2:37 AM

    Imagine if he was traded to the TWolves for Nikolai Pekovich and a 1st round pick.

  15. fouldwimmerlaik - Mar 15, 2012 at 2:42 AM

    The Magic organization has to do what they got to do that best serves THEIR interest. In the same token, D12 has to do what he thinks is right for him.

    Thing is, “word as strong as oak” (Jerry McGuirre, anyone?) doesn’t cut it.

    I say, pull the trigger. Both of you.

  16. frakfrakfrak - Mar 15, 2012 at 3:09 AM

    any team that gets dwight should make sure the team doctor checks him for schizophrenia or bi polar disorder. this guy is nuts.

  17. bearsstillsuck - Mar 15, 2012 at 3:12 AM

    He’s just a baby that wants to leave on his own terms and doesn’t want to do what “the man” tells him to. The magic would be wise to ship him off.

  18. Chris Ross - Mar 15, 2012 at 3:18 AM

    I think people are making a bit too big of a deal out of this. If Lebron hadn’t had his decision before this wouldn’t be nearly as big. It’s quite a predicament that Howard has put his team in and the circus that he has created. I just don’t think it’s quite as big as media wants to make it out to be.

  19. lakerluver - Mar 15, 2012 at 3:45 AM

    I’m convinced the dudes just not very “bright”. He doesn’t want to go to the LAKERS because allegedly he wants his own team. But he’s had his on team for 7 years and hasn’t won anything. As the LAKERS 2nd option Bynum’s balling out of his mind of late. Why couldn’t Hiward do the samething? Then in 2 or 3 years when Kobe’s ready to retire, AND Howard’s only 29, the LAKERS would be his. By that time, playing with Kobe and probably Pau too, he’d have a couple of rings

  20. lakerluver - Mar 15, 2012 at 3:48 AM

    He has a better chance of winning in L.A. with Pau and Kobe than he does in Jersey with D. Will and a gutted Nets squad.

  21. 00maltliquor - Mar 15, 2012 at 4:08 AM

    Magic top brass should have said back to him, ” Take this revolver, we put one bullet in the chamber and spun it. Now take a chance and put it to your head and pull the trigger three times and see if your noodles don’t spill all over the place, CAUSE THAT 50% CHANCE OF WALKING AWAY UNSCATHED IS STILL BETTER ODDS THEN THE ODDS YOUR GIVING OUR FRANCHISE DWIGHT!”

  22. 69jaredallen69 - Mar 15, 2012 at 4:26 AM

    Marc Stein tweeted he is going to fire his agent…seriously is this guy bi-polar? Even if he signs waiver Orlando is in same position next year at trade deadline

  23. 69jaredallen69 - Mar 15, 2012 at 4:30 AM

    Why fan I post in every other forum but basketball

  24. maxvain - Mar 15, 2012 at 5:17 AM

    Simple… trade him and lose the slim shot at the title this year, don’t trade him and lose him in the off-season in which you gain nothing… even with him a title is not guaranteed so they got to trade him and get something back, and be happy with being a participant in the playoffs

  25. diablito0402 - Mar 15, 2012 at 6:24 AM

    Orlando is begging him to stay, why take a chance, why doesent howard just tell the magic wether he is going or staying, orlando needs reasurance from howard and he wont give it. Trade him….

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