In related news, the Magic's No. 1 fan – The Fat Guy – will not pursue sexy Hollywood actress Katie Holmes even though she recently became available after her divorce from Tom Cruise.
In other words, it's easy for the Magic to say they won't pursue Dwight now when they know they don't have a snowball's chance in Haiti of getting him. But what happens in four months if the Lakers don't make the playoffs and a miserable, melancholy Dwight calls Magic CEO Alex Martins and says, "I want to come home." Don't tell me the Magic wouldn't fall all over themselves doing everything possible preparing their little love nest for big daddy's return.
Seriously, if Dwight actually wanted to come back to Orlando – and that's a big "if" – and the Magic hierarchy refused to pursue him, then the entire front office should tested for PEDs (Performance Extracting Drugs). Surely Martins and general manager Rob Hennigan aren't arrogant enough to think their rebuilding plan is better for the organization than re-acquiring the game's most dominant big man and one of the game's top five superstars.
These guys aren't dummies. Martins and Hennigan are intelligent people with good business minds. Surely, they know Dwight is good for at least 50 wins a year and a perpetually sold-out arena. Nothing they can do by acquiring draft picks and freeing salary-cap space is more of sure thing than bringing Dwight back home where he belongs.
Besides, even if Martins and Hennigan didn't want to pursue Dwight, Magic owner Rich DeVos would quickly overrule them. If Dwight wanted to return to Orlando, all he'd have to do is call up the soft-hearted old owner, make his request and the Magic would dust off those old "loyalty" T-shirts, the "Welcome Back Kotter" theme song and hold a news conference the next day.
Granted, Dwight's departure couldn't have been managed any worse by him and his ham-handed handlers. He left a trail of broken promises, broken hearts and broken dreams. He left Orlando holding the bag on a $500 million arena and cost his coach and GM their jobs.
But business is business – and Dwight is good for the bottom line. And don't kid yourself, Magic fans. You can act like you would never want him back, but it's like I've said before: You are like the guy who has been dumped by the woman he loves. You've gone through denial, depression and anger. But guess what? If Dwight ever changes his mind and wants to reconcile, you know what you'd say? "I love you, Baby! Welcome home!!!"
And you know what else? A Dwight-Magic reunion doesn't seem as far-fetched today as it once did. Dwight looks absolutely miserable in that Laker uniform. He's just not the same smiling, fun-loving kid he used to be. He's lost that Magic mojo he had when he was among friends, teammates and fans who loved him in Orlando. He was an iron man when he played for the Magic, but now he's a shell of himself. He's got a bum shoulder, is out indefinitely and is still seemingly recovering from the back surgery he had eight months ago.
Not only that, but there are rumblings he and Kobe are not getting along, and one tabloid even reported the two superstars nearly came to blows after a recent game. Dwight's even complaining now that the Lakers lack team chemistry and don't pal around enough together off the court.
"[Chemistry is] something we have to do to get better," Howard told ESPNLosAngeles.com. "We have to play like we like each other. Even if we don't want to be friends off the court … when we step in between the lines or we step in the locker room or the gym, we have to respect each other and what we bring to the table."
Does this sound like a happy man?
The Magic may say now they won't pursue him in free agency.
They may say the Dwight ship has sailed.
But don't be fooled.
If Dwight actually wanted to come home, you'd be shocked at how quickly the Good Ship Magic would return to port and welcome him back aboard.
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