Dwight Howard To Become Free Agent, Wants Changes In Orlando

By: 06.13.11
Dwight Howard

Dwight Howard (photo. Mannion)

It’ll be a long summer in Florida. In Miami, there’ll be questions every day surrounding the former future dynasty: Should they break them up? Should Spo come back? What’s up with LeBron? Then just a few hours away on the Florida Turnpike, Dwight Howard will grow more frustrated. In news that was expected, but otherwise wasn’t definitive until it came from the big man’s mouth, Dwight Howard plans on becoming a free agent next summer.

Howard said while he does want to stay in Orlando, circumstances could change if the Magic don’t win a title next year.

In an interview with NBA.com, Howard reiterated that the team’s culture must change.

“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 (owner, Rich) DeVos and (CEO, Bob) 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.

You can’t blame Howard. He’s merely putting the pressure on Otis Smith and the rest of management to get to work. Gilbert Arenas, Hedo Turkoglu and Jameer Nelson won’t get it done. The Magic regressed in the past two seasons and even with another superhuman season from their big man, it’s likely they could again unless something drastic changes.

With several nearly untradable contracts, and a broken roster of has-beens and average role players, this is a proclamation from Dwight: makes moves or I might be out.

What do you think?

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