Dwight Howard said on Thursday that he will not put his career at undue risk to save the Los Angeles Lakers' season.

"I mean, why wouldn't I want to play?" said Howard when challenged by a reporter. "But, at the same time, this is my career, this is my future, this is my life. I can't leave that up to anybody else because nobody else is going to take care of me. So, if people are pissed off that I don't play or if I do play, whatever it may be, so what? This is my career. If I go down, then what? Everybody's life is going to go on. I don't want to have another summer where I'm rehabbing and trying to get healthy again. I want to come back and have another great year. That's what I want to do." 

Howard, who is a free agent this summer, has been dealing with persistent shoulder issues.