Dwight Howard wants to win a title in Orlando. There was even talk about him signing an extension. But that’s not happening now, and he’s making it pretty clear that if the Orlando Magic won’t shake up the roster in order to win a championship, he’ll shake it up for them by leaving after next year.
“I want to win a championship,” the All-Star center said. “I think the owners have to really know that. That’s been my goal and my mission since I’ve been in the NBA — to win a championship. I don’t have side goals or agendas. My main goal is to win a championship. I want to have 14 other guys who feel the same way.”
Asked if the Magic have that now, he said, “It’s off and on. Sometimes guys are there whole-heartedly and then sometimes I’ve had teammates allow people getting in their ears and things like that effect the way that they play and approach the game.”
Howard said he did not tell DeVos and Vander Weide specific roster moves he wanted to see.
“I just told them, ‘We’ve got to have guys who are going to play hard 48 minutes and who are going to battle the other team, who are going to fight night in and night out for a championship,’ ” he said.
And if they don’t, Dwight?
“A lot of people want to see me go other places, but I want to stay in Orlando. I have a beautiful home there. There are beautiful people down there. My son is in Orlando. He’s getting a lot older and I want to be there to see as many moments as I can of his life.”
And if the Magic do not win the 2012 championship and the personality of the roster stays the same?
“Then things have to change,” Howard told NBA.com.
There it is. A star player giving a team a one year deadline to make serious changes in order to win a title. The thing is, Orlando has already made serious changes in order to win a title. Only that last part didn’t happen. Now they’re stuck with Gilbert Arenas and Hedo Turkoglu getting a combined $100 million-plus over the next three years. Who’s going to take that money, Dwight?
Of course, there is the omnipresent lockout looming over all of this that could radically change what Orlando does. But under the current system, Orlando will probably be about $20 million over the cap. And the new system is almost guaranteed to make that worse.
Orlando is already in quite a bind. Now their superstar center is giving them one season to get out of it, and it just so happens to be the season that could be unrecognizably altered by a new labor deal. It’s starting to feel like Otis Smith is driving a bus down hill with no brakes. Unless he pulls a miracle, this won’t end well for the Magic.
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