Howard situation looms heavy over Orlando Magic media day
Star center doesn't rule out staying in Orlando after requesting trade
Published: Monday, December 12, 2011
Updated: Tuesday, December 13, 2011 12:12
Orlando Magic fans heard exactly what they expected to hear from superstar center Dwight Howard on Saturday; a request for a trade.
Howard admitted to being disgruntled over not being involved in the moves of the organization. It's become fairly well known that Howard has had a "wish-list" consisting of players he'd like Orlando Magic general manager Otis Smith to acquire.
Howard has not been the happiest camper, evidenced as he told the press about how his relationship with Smith has not been a good one recently.
``I'm pretty sure that you can go down the line and every GM has a pretty good relationship with the best player and all of the players. If you don't have a good relationship with the guys you work with then how are you going to get better?'' Howard asked. ``There was a good relationship [between Smith and Howard] and then I have to tell [the media] that we haven't talked. We should still talk no matter what goes on. I've been here for seven years and no matter what happens we should be able to talk.''
Despite that, new Orlando Magic President Alex Martins came to the team's Media Day on Monday with a fairly positive attitude regarding Howard.
"I'm an optimist, I honestly believe that there's a chance here, and we're going to play it out until there's no chance," Martins said.
Even Howard did not appear to be as temperamental with his words.
"As of right now I'm in a Magic uniform, right?" Howard said. "So I'm not with nobody else, and that's the only thing that matters. If it's meant for me to stay here, then I'll stay…I love this city, there's no place I'd rather be but here in Orlando…I just want to make sure that we have the right things here so that we can win a championship."
Smith made the move to trade power forward Brandon Bass for Boston's Glen Davis over the weekend, a move intended to appease Howard.
"I don't know, it's weird," Davis said of his new organization. "I've been in Boston my whole career, and now I'm playing for another team. I'm looking forward to it."
Magic fans are aware of the memories, or rather nightmares, when Orlando lost games to Boston because of Davis' impact on the floor. But Davis says he is not concerned about that issue.
"I'm not worried about the fans," Davis said. "As you can see my personality, it's hard to run away from that. So, I'm not worried about the fans, I'm worried about the ball games."
Davis was rumored to be a part of Howard's "wish-list", although Davis apparently didn't have any notion of it.
"Was I? I didn't know," Davis said. "I had no idea. But I'm glad he wanted me here. It feels good to be a part of an organization that feels like they need [you]."
Ironically, Howard and Davis played together in their teenage years as rivals and even in the NBA. Now they both are teammates.
"I've been playing with Dwight since I was 15, high school," Davis said. "We would always play against each other. To be playing against him in the NBA to becoming a teammate of his is great for me because I'm tired of playing against this big guy. Now that we're on the same team, we both can do damage."
Howard appreciates Davis's strong approach on hard work and dedication to achieve a championship.
"Big Baby [Davis] and I talked today," Howard said. "And one thing that he said was that his teams [in Boston] were with each other every day, they wanted to win so bad, they did whatever they had to do to win…that's the kind of culture we have to have here…from the guys on the court to the coaching staff to the fans, everybody has to do what it takes."
Pressed on the Howard situation looming over the team's training camp, Davis remained neutral.
"I don't pay attention to that." Davis said. "It is what it is. [Howard] is going to make his decision on what he wants to do and how he wants to things. He's here or he's not here. Glen Davis is here and that's the way I approach it."
There is one thing that Davis wants to reassure to Magic fans, though, and that's his belief that this team is capable of returning to the NBA Finals.
"This team is capable of winning a championship," Davis said. "But we have just got to start believing that and putting forth the effort, a championship effort and it starts in practice. It's going to be a tough road, just got to make sure that as a team we don't get bored with the journey."