HANG TIME, Texas — Log me onto StubHub. Get me a ticket.
I want a front row seat at the Amway Center when Dwight Howard has to pull on that Magic jersey and take the floor in front of all those fans in Orlando that he’s left twisting in the wind for the past seven-plus months.
Give the Magic front office credit. No matter how many times they’ve been slapped in the face by their All-Star center, they keep going back for more.
Now, according to Alex Kennedy of Hoopsworld, general manager Rob Hennigan is going to make a coast-to-coast effort to put Humpty Dumpty back together again.
In recent days, the Magic have shifted their attention away from the ongoing trade talks and focused on persuading Howard to remain in Orlando. Hennigan and his staff will travel to Los Angeles later this week to meet face-to-face with Howard and deliver a presentation designed to persuade Howard to return to the Magic. Hennigan is determined to fix the strained relationship between the player and the organization, and he’s hopeful that Howard will resume his career in Orlando.
Hennigan asked Howard to drop his trade demand during a phone conversation two weeks ago, but the six-time All-Star reiterated his desire to be traded. Now, however, Howard has agreed to meet with the Magic and sources within the organization are optimistic that they can change his stance with this pitch.
It’s no secret that Howard has wanted to join the Brooklyn Nets for quite some time. Now, with the Nets out of the picture for at least six months, the Magic are hoping that Howard is open to a return rather than settling on another destination like Los Angeles, which Howard seemed hesitant to commit to until recently. Howard doesn’t have many options, which is one reason Orlando is hopeful he’ll be willing to return.
Over the next several days, the Magic are expected to hire a head coach and whoever they hire will likely be in attendance when Hennigan and his staff meet with Howard in Los Angeles. Jacque Vaughn is the frontrunner, but Michael Curry and Lindsey Hunter are also finalists for the job.
The soap opera in Orlando continues and the ending may be extremely anticlimactic if the two sides can work out their differences. While a lot has transpired in recent months, the Magic are hopeful that they can bring Howard back and put this drama behind them.
Could it really happen? Could Howard change his mind again?
Remember, he was supposedly out the door in March on the night of the trade deadline, then abruptly turned soft and signed away his right to opt out and become a free agent this season?
Would it really happen? Would the loyal fans of the Magic be willing to open their arms once more to embrace a Superman who has treated them like Kryptonite since last December?
Remember, they already saw Shaquille O’Neal walk out the door 16 years ago.
Should we be lining up for tickets on opening night? Or is this talk of a potential reunion just a waste of jet fuel?