The year is 1996 and the Orlando Magic are coming off 2 incredible post seasons, the later of which they lost to the Chicago Bulls in the Eastern Conference Championship. Heading into the off season the Magic were certain that the services of free agent Shaq would be obtainable yet again. Hence the reason they did not trade him in the final year of his deal during the 1995-1996 season. Little did they know he would get swept away by Los Angeles Lakers who that same summer acquired rookie Kobe Bryant in the first round of the draft. That Lakers Team would go on to win three NBA titles.
Now flash forward to the present day Orlando Magic and there star player Dwight Howard. Going into this season one that could be his last with the season depending on if he opts into his contract that would have if stay until the end of next season, he made it clear he would like to go somewhere else. Possibly to Dallas or the team from New Jersey that will be in Brooklyn next season. He claims the team has done nothing in terms of acquiring new players for him to win a championship with. He has handled this contract situation worse than Lebron handled leaving Cleveland and that is saying a lot.
He has been flip flopping over the last 24 hours. Saying he would on his final year on his contract then retracted his statement and realized he did not want to give up that control. The Magic at that point told him that if he does not opt in he is going elsewhere and would be doing so on Thursday the last day of the trade deadline at 3pm EST. The Magic have the disaster of losing Shaq while getting nothing in return fresh in their minds still and will not let that go down again. In the last few hours it has been reported that he is in fact willing to opt in and stay with the team but as I write this we are 2 and 1/2 hours from the deadline and nothing is yet done.
We will be finding out really soon what the fate of Dwight Howard and the Magic will be. If he stays it is possible there could be a Championship banner hanging up at the venue formerly known as the “Orena” next year. There also could be no Dwight Howard and the drama and distraction he has brought to the Orland Magic this season. Regardless of what happens today it is safe to say this is a event that will not only effect the future of a star player but a franchise as well.