We’ll believe this when we see it, but according to Magic CEO Alex Martins, Dwight Howard needs to sign an extension soon or the team will make “decisions that are necessary.” That’s rich-guy speak for “Your ass is grass.”
With the 2011-12 season finally behind them, the Magic are attempting to look forward to the future. But those who don’t learn from their mistakes are doomed to repeat them — and Orlando looks like it’ll be in for another NBA soap opera unless Howard agrees to a long-term deal. As it stands, Howard is only under contract for the upcoming season.
So number one on the checklist will be getting Howard to sign on the dotted line. But that’s always been number one on the list. What will be different about this year? Martins says that this time, Dwight needs to put up or shut up (From BHSN & News 13 in Orlando, via Pro Basketball Talk):
“We want him to sign an extension this summer. And if he decides not to sign an extension this summer, then we’re going to have to make the decisions that are necessary so that we don’t go through a season like we went through this year.”
Though “the decisions that are necessary” is vague, it seems the Magic brass is justifiably tired of Howard’s lack of commitment. This season was much more about Dwight than any one thing on the basketball court, and that’s not how a real team operates. On the other hand, the Magic have shown themselves to be willing to bend over backwards for any and all of Howard’s demands. No matter which way you look at it, both sides have been wishy-washy. This statement is as definitive as it gets for these people.
Regardless, the ball is now in Howard’s court. A firm decision, one way or the other, is critical here. It will allow both he and the team to move on, either together or separately. Pull the Band-Aid off, Mr. Howard. Or, keep it on, and let the Magic rip the head coaching job from Stan Van Gundy’s hands. Either way, we promise you’ll feel better afterwards. Just don’t put the Magic, the city of Orlando, NBA fans and media outlets hungry for a story through this again.
(Well, actually, scratch that last group. We love drama.)