Orlando Magic Center Dwight Howard has been at the forefront of media attention the past couple of days as it came out that Howard felt that the Magic had blackmailed him when deciding to give the Magic one more year. However, in a recent interview with Yahoo Sports Howard denies that he accused them of blackmail and insist that there is only one team on his immediate trade list.
It was first reported that when Howard met with new Magic GM Rob Hennigan, he told him that he wanted to be traded to the Brooklyn Nets instead of playing out his last year with the Magic.
According to USA Today, along with the report it was even said that Howard felt he had been blackmailed into signing the one year extension to forgo free agency in the summer of 2012, giving the Magic one last shot to win over their star player. However, Howard has spoken out at least declining the claim regarding the blackmail.
“I never used the word blackmail in reference to any of my dealings with the Magic,” Howard said. “I never said that. It’s defamatory and it’s inaccurate. I know what blackmail means and any report that I used the term incorrectly is inaccurate.”
Reports went on to say that both the LA Lakers and the Houston Rockets were both interested in making a deal to land the all-star center and bring his talents to their respective cities. Though Howard has once again spoken out to reaffirm his feelings to land with the Nets.
“There’s only one team on my list and if I don’t get traded there, I’ll play the season out and explore my free agency after that,” said Howard.
“This was not the first time [that I asked for trade],” he continued.
“I communicated this to [Magic president] Alex [Martins] and [former general manager] Otis [Smith] way before Friday that I wanted to be traded – months before this meeting with Rob Hennigan. That was all way before Stan [Van Gundy] got fired.”
Howard went on to speak with Yahoo about claims that he faked his back injury and quit on his team, saying that “it really upset” him that people would say that he quit on his team and would make up an excuse like that. Howard also added that he still had nothing to do with the firing of coach Stan Van Gundy and that people calling him a “coach killer” “upset” him and “hurt a lot.”
Where do you think Dwight Howard will end up this offseason? Will the Magic try to once again convince him to stay or will he be a new member of the Brooklyn Nets by the end of the summer?