Howard Denies Accusing Magic Of 'Blackmail'
Dwight Howard’s name has been associated with many things this season. The association, however, has been opposite of the wholesome, fun-loving superstar that was formerly one of the NBA’s most popular players. Howard has been recently been labeled a quitter, diva, coach-killer, and most recently a victim of “blackmail.”
Howard, who is currently in Los Angeles rehabbing from back surgery, has remained quiet throughout the various stages of reports. But the six-time All-Star decided that reports alleging “blackmail” was something that required an immediate response.
"I never used the word 'blackmail' in reference to any of my dealings with the Magic,” Howard told RealGM. “And I never said the Magic blackmailed me.”
Howard is vehemently denying an ESPN report that he told people the Magic “blackmailed” him into signing his opt-in clause on March 15. While that report is the current headline-grabber, Howard has been the subject of numerous reports quoting unnamed sources that have placed him several unfavorable situations this season.
Fans and players have closely followed the drama-filled situation in Orlando. Many have grown tired of Howard’s perceived immaturity and me-first mentality they believe ruined the season for the Magic. Howard, however, has grown tired of the numerous reports being published. They are creating a negative perception around him that he feels is unwarranted and untrue.
Howard is challenging reporters to use facts and sources that are willing to go on the record and stand behind their claims, not the unnamed sources that are offering one side of a story.
“I'm tired of reporters using 'sources' to print inaccurate and defamatory stories about me,” said Howard. “It is past time for these reporters to quote their sources. Especially since what is being printed is not true and damages my reputation every day."
Howard had no comment on the reports that he’s requested a trade to the Brooklyn Nets, choosing to focus only on the report that is claiming he was duped into signing the opt-in clause. Howard vowed to address the fans and media when the time is right.
Follow Jarrod Rudolph on Twitter: @JRudolphSports