HOUSTON — Dwight Howard would like the Orlando Magic to retire his old jersey number after his playing career ends.
Howard, who was upset last February when the team granted Tobias Harris’ request to wear No. 12, played eight seasons for the Magic and led the franchise to three division titles and the Eastern Conference championship during the 2009 postseason.
His final season with the team was contentious, and it included his request to be traded.
This morning, after Howard’s Houston Rockets completed their shootaround, I asked him whether he can envision the Magic retiring his number one day in the distant future.
“No doubt,” he answered.
“Despite how things ended, we had eight or seven great years. We went to The Finals. A lot of those banners that are in the arena happened when I was there. I was a major part of that. A lot of the records that are there, I put them there.
“I hate talking about myself, but I feel like I’ve done a lot, not just for the team but the city and the arena itself and the businesses that were around. There’s a lot of things that happened that didn’t happen before I got there. Our team, we did an excellent job at putting all that stuff together, especially in the community. I was deeply embedded in the community and I feel like one day it should [be retired].
“But with all that happened, I can’t control that. All I’ve got to do is win. And, hopefully, when I’m done playing here, I’ll have my jersey retired here.”
The Magic are celebrating their 25th season.
So far, the franchise hasn’t retired any player’s number, but it has retired No. 6, in honor of the team’s fans, “the sixth man.”
Howard holds the Magic’s regular-season career records for the most points (11,435), most rebounds (8,072) and most blocks (1,344).
Josh Robbins covers the Orlando Magic and the NBA for the Orlando Sentinel. You can reach him via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and connect with him on Facebook at facebook.com/JoshuaBRobbins. Follow him on Twitter at @JoshuaBRobbins.