Dwight Howard Admits Mistakes, Decides To Opt-In
With the trade deadline a few hours away, nobody had any idea what Dwight Howard was planning to do. Much of that uncertainty was the result of Howard's ever-changing mind.
After informing the Magic he would opt-in and delay his free agency on Wednesday, Howard changed his mind before playing the Spurs and looked to be on his way out of Orlando.
Both the organization and fans were upset with Howard's actions as it seemed he was trying to manipulate his way to the New Jersey Nets. In the process, he appeared to have relinquished control of his future to agents and advisers that are believed to be pushing him to a larger market.
Howard, however, finally had enough and decided to set the record straight.
Howard confirmed to RealGM on Wednesday evening that he will waive his early termination option and stay in Orlando for at least the 12-13 season.
Howard also realizes the impact that his indecision has caused and wants to make things right in the city that has watched him grow both professionally and personally since he came into the NBA in 2004 as the first overall pick.
"Man, listen, you know my heart, my soul and everything I have is in Orlando," Howard told RealGM. "I just can't leave it behind."
Dealing with such a big decision was new territory for Howard.
To help with the process he sought advice from people he believed had his best interest in mind. All the while, his heart remained in Orlando. While he wanted to keep his options open, Howard's intentions were never to alienate his teammates, coaches or general manager.
The circumstances, however, spiraled out of control and turned into something he never wanted to happen. Howard was very remorseful for the situation that he created, but eager to turn it around and show everyone who has been hurt by his actions how much he appreciates them and how sorry he is for Wednesday’s events.
"I have gotten some bad advice," Howard said. "I apologize for this circus I have caused to the fans of our city. They didn't deserve none of this. I'm sorry from the bottom of my heart. I will do whatever I can to make this right and do what I was put in Orlando to do."
The situation has also been stressful for Howard and his family, but he isn't thinking of making any excuses or point any fingers. Howard only wants to get back to being the man Orlando grew to love and cheer for.
"This has been a very hard time," Howard said. "For me, my family and all of us. The fans deserve a better hero and I will make that happen. I love and appreciate my fans and this city."
Howard said that he plans on signing the ETO waiver first thing on Thursday morning. He also plans on making some internal changes to ensure this situation isn't repeated in the future.
- Jarrod Rudolph is a Senior Writer of RealGM and can be reached at Jarrod.Rudolph@RealGM.com and on Twitter @MisterRudolph.