Dwight Howard Believes “The Decision” Laid A Blueprint For How To Not Act During His Free Agency SweepstakesJuly 18, 2011 – 5:30 am by Steven Cuce
As the sports world embarks upon another “core four” professional sport going into a lengthy lockout process it doesn’t stop the media from speculating. That is the case with Dwight Howard. The Magic center has specifically made it a point not to sign a new contract with Orlando, so that he can weigh his free agency options and make the best “business” decision for himself moving forward. Howard is now the most sought after star player in basketball to hit the free agency market in the future if the ugly NBA lockout will ever be lifted. Those chances may be slim for quite some time according to super agent David Falk.
Free agency in professional sports has morphed into everything being about a “business” decision in our modern day and it obviously comes as no surprise. Star players want to team up with other star players. This is one of the many reasons the NBA has a lockout issue on their hands when you have a sport that has about five or six talented, top heavy, teams with the rest of the field suffering terribly and losing money each-and-every year. The boys down in South Beach started a trend and now other players would love to follow suit. There is a good amount of speculation around Dwight Howard and a future with the Los Angeles Lakers once he hits the free agency market or possibly even ends up being traded.
It may be a year later, but I haven’t come across a current NBA player admitting publicly that Lebron James’s decision to go on television to announce his free agency destination was a mistake. In the following interview with 790 The Zone in Atlanta Dwight Howard confirms that he wouldn’t dare announce his plans on television because the public outrage told him all he needed to know.
Dwight Howard joined 790 The Zone in Atlanta with Mayhem in the AM to discuss the time period where NBA players will start worrying about the NBA lockout, his reaction to the multiple trades the Orlando Magic made last season in an attempt to improve the team, his reaction to LeBron James and “The Decision,” LeBron James’s actions being a blueprint for what not to do when he is a free agent and playing overseas during the lockout.
When do you think NBA players will really start to worry about the season during the lockout process?
“I think guys will really start to worry when it’s time for training camp or right after training camp when it’s usually pre-season and probably November is when guys will I don’t think worry, but probably want to know what is going on.”
How did you feel about the all the trades made last season to try to improve the Magic?
“I wanted to be more part of the process a little more. I had to step out on the court and I wanted to make sure that the people I played with wanted to go out and play hard every night. My only issue was the fact that I didn’t really have a chance to be involved, but I think with the guys that we brought in we still have an excellent chance of winning, but we all have to be on the same page. I do miss a lot of the guys we traded. You know Marcin Gortat…I think he was very key since last season. Also Mickael Pietrus and Rashard Lewis and also Vince [Carter]. All of these guys are very key in our success and to see them go on the personal side it hurt, but I understand the NBA is a business and we have to keep going.”
What was your initial reaction to LeBron James and “The Decision?” What were other players saying around the league behind the scenes of how that played out?
“I watched it live. I could tell he [LeBron James] was hurt before he even made his decision known to everybody. He was very hurt and it just looked like he really didn’t want to get up there and do what he was doing. He had to make the best decision for him and his career and to just see all the stuff that happened after he made his decision. I think that’s the thing that hurt Cleveland fans the most is the way he did it. I think that’s what hurts them the most.”
Are LeBron James’s actions last off-season with “The Decision” a blueprint for what not to do when you’re a free agent in the not too distant future? Is that how you don’t do it?
“I think so. I think the way he did just seems like it just made people seem he ditched the whole town of Cleveland. I don’t think he meant it like that, but that’s how it came off and it hurt a lot of people. I actually talked to a lot of people in Cleveland who were just hurt by how he did it, so I think that was the biggest thing. He did everything he could in Cleveland. I think he felt like he just had to move on.”
Would you go play overseas? Where else would you announce that decision?
“I don’t know. I have some plans, but I can’t share that with you guys right now. [Hosts: Where else would you announce that decision?] On twitter.”