The relationship between Shaquille O’Neal and Dwight Howard runs hot and cold, and to even describe it as lukewarm would be a bit of a stretch.
Remember, part of the reason Howard wanted to be traded to the Nets over the Lakers was because he didn’t want to follow in Shaq’s footprints, and he doesn’t want to play second fiddle to anyone, even if it is Kobe Bryant.
But in the months since the trade deadline passed, Howard now feels the Lakers would be an acceptable fallback destination if he can’t land in Brooklyn and team up with Deron Williams. Same with Dwight and the Clippers.
Anywhere but Orlando.
As first reported here, Howard wants out.
A clean break.
Sort of like the one O’Neal made in the summer of 1996 when he was an unrestricted free agent and received a mammoth offer from the Los Angeles Lakers just as he was passing through Orlando with Team USA on their pre-Olympic tour. On the day the team was in Orlando, the Sentinel ran a poll of its readers in which almost 90 percent of respondents said O’Neal was not worth something in the neighborhood of $85 million. By the time the team touched down in Atlanta the next day, O’Neal had his deal with the Lakers in place.