May 31, 2011
Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard(notes) can't become a free agent until next year, though plenty of teams are dreaming about signing him. But those teams can keep on dreaming, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
"I'm not trying to run behind nobody like Shaq or be behind somebody else," Howard said, according to the Sentinel. (O'Neal left the Magic after the 1995-'96 season to join the Los Angeles Lakers.) "I want to start my own path and I want people to follow my path and not just follow somebody else's path. I want to have my own path, and I want to start that here in Orlando. But I can't do it alone. Not only do I need the right teammates, but I need the city behind me. That's the only way it's going to get done. We can change this small city that we have -- this small market that we have -- and we can make it a big market."
Howard shared his thoughts with the Sentinel at a barbecue that he threw Monday in a public park for Magic fans. One of his goals, he said, was to ease fans' concerns that he might leave the team, the paper notes.