It’s only been 2 weeks since the Miami Heat managed to clench the title as back-to-back world champions and had everybody talking. Now it’s not a team but an individual player who’s stolen the spotlight of the postseason and become the hottest topic of the NBA.
In just a matter of days, he’s become the most sought after free agent in the league with five teams vying for his talents. The Lakers, the Dallas Mavericks, the Houston Rockets, the Golden State Warriors and the Atlanta Hawks. They all want a piece of “Superman” but the question on all of our minds is, what does he want?
In hopes to help him make the decision that much easier, each team has sat down with Howard to take their best shot at convincing him to sign with them. But it’s his current team, the Lakers who are pulling out all the stops to persuade Howard to stay put.
Rounding out his series of sit-down meetings yesterday, the Lakers did some good ol’ fashioned buttering up. According to CBSSports.com, General Manager Mitch Kupchak along with franchise player Kobe Bryant, among others, and Coach Mike D’Antoni told Howard “how important he is to the Lakers team, franchise, fans and community, and why we [they] feel this is the best place for him to continue his career.” Kupchak further expressed his optimism saying that after their meeting, they are “hopeful” that Howard will be suiting up in that purple and gold jersey again next season.
With those kind words plus all the shameless “Stay D12” billboards and Twitter hashtags, not to mention an extra $30mil they promised him if he obliges, the Lakers may be able to pull this one off, but not without some healthy competition.
Though Howard’s decision isn’t said to come until July 10, the Houston Rockets, who had first dibs at a formal meeting with the highly coveted center, are reportedly among the early frontrunners. Followed by the Lakers, the Mavericks, the Hawks and finally the Warriors.
Now the ball is in Dwight Howard’s court. All we can do is sit back and wait. Share your predictions…