Dwight Howard Thanks David Stern for Trying to Cool Speculation About Future
But Howard, who is tied for the NBA lead with 14 technical fouls in this crackdown season, really liked hearing something Stern said Thursday.
In an interview with FanHouse, Stern called it "ridiculous'' that "poor Dwight Howard'' is "out there playing his head off and the media is, 'Oh, where's he going next?'''
"Thanks, commish,'' Howard, the starting center for the East in Sunday's All-Star Game at the Staples Center, said Friday. "You're absolutely right.''
There has been speculation about Howard, who can opt out of his contract and become a free agent in the summer of 2012, eventually might join a big-market team such as New York or the Los Angeles Lakers. He continued to scoff at that possibility.
"There's no contract for me to sign for two years,'' Howard said. "So, to me, it's like, 'Why are people even talking about it?' The only thing I'm concerned about is winning a championship. It's nothing about playing for the Lakers or New York or whoever it may be. When that time comes, then that's when we can discuss that. But, as of right now, I don't want to be thinking about playing basketball in another city.''
Howard didn't want to say when the time might come to discuss his future. But if Howard hasn't signed an extension with the Magic by next February's All-Star Game in Orlando, it's safe to say that he'll be bombarded then with questions just the way Denver forward Carmelo Anthony was Friday. Anthony, who hasn't signed an extension with the Nuggets and can opt out of his contract this summer and become a free agent, is a good bet to be dealt by Thursday's trade deadline.
"I don't know,'' Howard said about the possibility of being next season in the same spot Anthony is in now. "I really don't even have any idea what's going to happen two years from now. That's two years from now. Right now, it's all about winning a title and getting my team back to having a chance to win.''
In the meantime, Howard, whose Magic lost in the 2009 Finals to the Lakers, won't help his team if he keeps picking up technicals. Howard is two shy of reaching 16, which would mean an automatic one-game suspension.
If that happens, Howard won't be thanking Stern.