The parallels between Dwight Howard and Shaquille O’Neal are astounding. Same position, same physical style of play, the disputable “Superman” moniker, goofy personality. Orlando fans are hoping that the parallels stop there, as Dwight Howard’s impending free agency gets tossed around more frequently and the prospect of him leaving town looms.
Refusing to sign a contract extension is sure to make Orlando fans think that he might go the way of the Diesel, trading the sun-drenched Florida coastline for the glitz and glamor of Hollywood and purple and gold unis. His actions will be scrutinized, but anybody without bias should be able to realize that the Magic haven’t put the best team around him during his stay in Orlando, a period in which he’s laced up with players overrated (Jameer Nelson, Rashard Lewis) and long past their prime (Vince Carter).
Howard discusses these matters in a candid ESPN interview that also sees him talk about his involvement in social networking and his views on the Miami Heat. One of the most telling parts of the interview comes towards the end, when he bluntly states “looking at them makes me want to beat them more,” stating that he isn’t tempted to team up with other superstars. Time will tell.