"The refs are like cops, and I'm on the Most Wanted list. My picture is in every cop station around the league,'' Howard joked after practice Sunday. "For every tech (they give me), they get a gold star. Five stars, and they get promoted.''
Howard leads the league with 15 technical fouls, getting one in each of the last two games. He received one Wednesday night against San Antonio when, after a personal foul against him, he rolled the ball downcourt -- bowling style. He received one Thursday in Miami when he slammed the ball down in frustration.
"I don't know if it's personal, or they (officials) are just trying to make a point, but I thought the last couple on him were pretty cheap, where guys are looking for him,'' Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said. "The one should have been just a delay of game. It's just guys (officials) wanting to give techs.''
After reaching 16 -- which could happen as early as Monday night in Philadelphia -- Howard would get a second one-game suspension for every two additional technical fouls. The count resets for the playoffs, where it takes seven technicals before a player is suspended.
Based on his $15 million annual salary, a one-game suspension will cost Howard $136,363. The individual technical fouls this season have cost him anywhere from $1,000 to $2,000, depending where he was on the count.
The Magic have 12 regular season games remaining and both he and Van Gundy admit that avoiding a 16th technical sounds almost unrealistic.
"I'll try not to (get it), but chances are, my emotions tend to fly, and things will happen,'' he said. "I'm not going to change who I am. I'm an emotional player. You should have the right to be emotional. And when I get called for fouls that shouldn't be fouls, I get emotional.''
Van Gundy, throughout the season, has talked about Howard being officiated differently than other NBA stars, believing he is penalized unfairly because of his size and dominance around the basket.
Both he and Howard were in a joking mood about the technicals Sunday after two days off. The Magic, with the second-best record in the Eastern Conference, have 12 games remaining in the regular season.
"If he got 15 (technical fouls) in 70 games, the odds now aren't with us,'' Van Gundy said. "He could go (without another one), but the odds are against us there. More than likely, it will happen, and then we'll deal with it.''
Van Gundy certainly doesn't want the next technical to come Monday because then Howard would miss Wednesday's game against the Atlanta Hawks, who are the No. 3 spot in the East, just four games behind the Magic.
Howard's technical-foul problem is ironic in some regards because of his reputation as a nice guy away from the court, sometimes criticized for smiling too much on the court, and not having a killer instinct. Yet his constant debate over calls against him clearly have not made him a favorite with officials.
Veteran Vince Carter also came to Howard's defense Sunday, saying the frustration he sees comes from the way Howard is officiated, which isn't always fair in his eyes.
"They call me 'Little Rasheed Wallace,' '' Howard said.