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Howard waives opt-out clause, staying with Magic
“It doesn’t matter at this point,” he said.
Howard said he didn’t think he’d had a full night’s sleep since making his original trade demand. He offered an apology to Magic fans for the back-and-forth ordeal, but not for taking his due diligence to make it.
“There’s no decision about your life that you’re gonna make in one day or one hour,” he said.
But the four months it took Howard to make a decision impacted a lot of other people.
Howard first requested a trade during the preseason and at the time he expressed frustration with Magic management and what he felt was an unwillingness to include him in personnel decisions or to improve the roster around him. He went as far as to praise the relationship he felt All-Star Dirk Nowitzki has with Mavericks’ owner Mark Cuban.
He maintained that stance until changing his mind this week and expressing a desire to remain in Orlando this season, though he initially refused to waive his opt-out provision.
Howard said he made his decision to waive the early termination clause in the hours after the Magic’s loss to San Antonio Wednesday night and then notified the team via phone calls and text messages while on the team plane.
His teammates were apparently unaware of the final change of heart, with Magic guard Chris Duhon posting on his Twitter account “Off to Orlando and the waiting game begins” shortly after the Spurs’ game.
But now Howard wants to put all that behind them.
Howard says he’s “all in” now and ready to give the organization a full season to improve the roster going forward.
“Now we can get back to playing basketball and having some peace and trying to win a championship,” said Howard. “I feel like we have a chance to win want and I didn’t feel like either one of us (he or the organization) should give that up.”
Howard said repeatedly Thursday he was both relieved and expressed a desire to make this a championship year for Orlando to make up for the off-court storms.
But with no long-term commitment how long the calm will last is certainly still an open proposition.
Unless Smith and Magic CEO Alex Martins can add pieces around Howard between now and the summer of 2013, this entire ordeal is set to play out one more time. Then there won’t `be an extra year to lean on.
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