NBA commissioner David Stern isn't happy Dwight Howard or agent Dan Fegan have leaked details of meetings with the Orlando Magic brass to media, but he's willing to live with it, knowing it moves the meter by driving fan and media interest.
"To me, it is the soap opera our fans turn in for -- the drama on the court and the drama off the court," Stern told USA Today. "When we cease to have a story popping up, we probably won't exist. I think what it is, is that that's the way we are. That's the way it has been in baseball and the NFL and hockey and basketball. And frankly, it engages our fans, it engages our reporters, it engages our bloggers. It makes people happy, mad, sad. It's just the life of sports."
Howard's very public flip-flopping -- trade demands, rescinding those demands and agreeing in February to stay in Orlando for the upcoming season, then demanding a trade again -- has kept the Magic and their six-time All-Star center in the headlines.
On Monday, an "unnamed source" Stern said by process of elimination must be Fegan, informed RealGM.com and ESPN.com that Howard again turned down Magic GM Rob Hennigan and team officials who'd visited him in Los Angeles in hopes of convincing Howard to give the Magic a chance.
"It's very unique, especially if it's driven by a quote source that happens to be Dwight's agent," Stern said. "'A source in the meeting? Oh, OK, who might that be?'"