PORTLAND — Ryan Totka is an entrepreneur, celebrity booking agent and perhaps most important for our purposes here at the hideout, an unabashed Orlando Magic fan.
So he owes us no apologies for advocating for his favorite team’s best player, that would be three-time Defensive Player of the Year Dwight Howard, to fight the growing trend and stick around when free agency hits after next season.
Totka has already debuted a website, StayDwight.com, T-shirts and a digital billboard in Orlando to kick off the campaign. Whether it works or not remains to be seen. Howard has a long time to go before he makes a decision on his future.
All that does is give Totka more time to intensify his efforts, which he clearly plans on doing, based on an email conversation we had with him as he awaited Friday night’s Game 3 of the Magic-Hawks playoff series.
We asked Totka if “The Decision,” last summer’s LeBron James free agent-palooza on ESPN, had anything to do with his campaign. We figured it was a logical conclusion considering the similarities in the dilemma facing both young stars, choosing between the city and franchise that sheltered you as you grew from a potential star into a full-blown megastar.
“I think LeBron’s decision stunned his hometown people the most, the one’s who see his face on a daily basis, driving to work seeing his face on signs and billboards around the city,” Totka said. “In Cleveland, he was the first person people talk about with their family and at work from the moment they wake up. Dwight is Orlando’s LeBron, the same way the city brands him around the town.”