Orlando Magic Owner Still Trying to Convince Dwight Howard to Stay

by February 09, 2012

Unlike everyone else in the basketball universe, the folks in the Orlando Magic’s front-office and ownership group still believe that Dwight Howard can be convinced to stick around town. From the Orlando Sentinel: “[Rich] DeVos, 85, visited the Magic locker room before tipoff, spoke to a few players and then granted a rare interview. As Dwight Howard sat at his locker perhaps 10 yards away, DeVos acknowledged that he is trying to convince the superstar center to remain with the team for years to come. ‘We love him, and he respects us, so we talk,’ DeVos said. ‘When you’ve lived as long I’ve lived, you see things from a bigger lens and you try to share that with the young guys coming up, including being patient.’ DeVos said he has tried to tell Howard that, if he goes to a new city, he might never match the bond with that team’s fan base that he currently has with Magic fans. ‘Listen to the fans tonight, cheering,’ DeVos said. ‘He’s respected. You have to move in life, but the loyalty you develop in a community is always remembered. But if you leave, you don’t pick it up in the next town. It’s not an add-on, you know, because you lose what you had. Maybe you gain some new [loyalty], but maybe you don’t. Maybe the net gain isn’t as good you think. We just talk about stuff.’ […] DeVos also dispelled the notion that — if the team’s front office determines it must trade Howard — he would veto a trade to the Los Angeles Lakers because the Lakers signed Shaquille O’Neal to a free-agent deal years ago. ‘I don’t have any emotion on that,’ DeVos said. ‘I never talked about where he would go because I don’t want him to go. I don’t discuss where he might go.'”