Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard told reporters after a shootaround on Thursday that he wants to be the guy.
I don't think there's a player in the NBA that wants to be a nobody, Howard said, according to ESPNChicago. I think everybody wants to be that guy to take the last shot or be that guy that everybody is leaning on, for whatever reason.
And I don't think there's any problem wanting to be that guy. I've been that guy for this team since I've been here. And my whole life I've been put in the position of leadership, and I take on that role and I love doing it. Just by what people think, it's very tough being a leader.
The funny thing about Howard's desire to be the man is that he is the man in Orlando. He's the clear face of the franchise and is easily the team's most marketable star.
Yet Howard has demanded to be traded multiple times in the last six month; notably demanding to be traded to the New Jersey Nets to team up with point guard Deron Williams. He's also been rumored to possibly be heading to the Los Angeles Lakers, where Kobe Bryant already reigns supreme, and a Dirk Nowitzki-led Dallas Mavericks team.
He's even been mentioned as a possible Chicago Bull target -- a team that will now and for the foreseeable future be Derrick Rose's team.
Howard went on to say that he wants to win and put my team in the best position, but the talented big man seems to be at a crossroad. He says that he wants to be the man, but seems to be doing every thing in his power to be traded to teams that already have All-Star caliber players on the roster.
That's not to say that he wouldn't have a huge impact on those teams -- the Nets are miserable even with Williams -- but he wouldn't be the sole man like he is on the Orlando Magic.
Those apparent contradictions and double talk provide some insight in why the Magic think they have a chance to keep him. He clearly doesn't know exactly what he wants and instead populates completely different viewpoints every time he talks to a reporter.
The Magic deep down believe they can keep him, if we are to believe recent comments by the team's CEO to Yahoo Sports, in part because they can appeal to his ego better than any other team out there. They can promise him that he will have more of a say in management decisions; that they will trade or sign any player that he wants; and that he'll get the ball at the end of each close game.
If Howard wants his ego stroked then he'll stay in Orlando and be the guy. If he wants to actually compete for NBA championships he'll find a way to go to Chicago, Los Angeles, or even New Jersey.
It's just gotten to the point that the constant rumors, innuendos, and double talk need to end. Howard at some point -- whether it's by March 15th or this off-season -- needs to decide exactly what he wants and make a decision accordingly.
Otherwise this cycle is just going to keep going around and around until the end of time.