HOUSTON — Dwight Howard wasn’t playing ball with the reporters who tried Friday to pin him down on his future, which was no surprise given his reluctance lately to discuss anything about his future.
And the future of the NBA’s best (?) big man is one of the top topics around the NBA as All-Star Weekend arrives, because nobody knows what that future might hold. Will he stay with the Lakers? Will he leave El Lay in a lurch by leaving as an unrestricted free agent to sign with Dallas or Atlanta?
Will he even make the playoffs?
“I didn’t expect for it to as go as sour as it’s going,” Howard said at All-Star weekend. “Guys getting injuries, us not winning, the drama on the outside of the locker room. We’ve had to deal with a lot.”
Will he have to keep dealing with that drama in the years ahead as the Lakers turn over the majority of their roster?
Does it make any sense for him to do so?
If you think not, then how about this question, which is the one folks should be asking themselves: Does Dwight Howard have a secret plan to get to the Brooklyn Nets, the team that has been his No. 1 choice for more than nearly two years?
“There’s no need for me to talk about what happens at the end of the season. There’s no need to go back and forth about it. I just feel at the end of the year I should have the opportunity to make my own decision, and I shouldn’t be pressured or criticized for waiting til the end of the year,” Howard said.
Check out the most significant part of that quote — “I should have the opportunity to make my own decision.”
Those are similar to the words LeBron James spoke when he was getting ready to leave Cleveland, and there are those around the NBA who are convinced that James knew months in advance that he’d be taking his talents to South Beach.
Secret plans are as much a part of the NBA as dunks and irascible commissioners, and if a secret plan exists for Howard, it is not all that difficult to figure out how it would unfold. Further, after speaking with Dwight at All-Star Weekend, I walked away more convinced than ever that Howard is as unhappy as he has ever been in his career, and he is going to find a way to fulfill his ultimate goal and end up at the Barclay’s Center next season.
Here is our back-and-forth.
DH: “I’ve got to do what makes me happy. That’s it.”
CS: “What makes you happy? What has made you the most happy over the course of your career?”
DH: “Having fun on the court. That makes me happy.”
CS: “Are you having as much fun as you used to have on the court?”
DH: “At the present time, no. Hopefully it gets better.”
So let’s get back to that secret plan. I’ll break it down nice and simple for you.
Step 1: Howard remains with the Los Angeles Lakers for the entire season, which jibes with the Lakers’ plans. Howard said Friday that Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak has already told him he will not be traded.