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Tuesday, February 5, 2013
D12 on Nets: Can't think about that

By Mike Mazzeo



In late October, Dwight Howard admitted that he had wanted to be traded from the Orlando Magic to the Brooklyn Nets.

"I did want to go to Brooklyn," said Howard, who was ultimately dealt to the Los Angeles Lakers. "That's a place where I told the Magic that I really wanted to go."

Asked Monday by ESPN's Stephen A. Smith if his feelings have changed, Howard replied: "Well, I'm very happy with the position I'm in with the team I'm on. And the staff, just being around these guys, being around the coaches and these people, they really have my best interests and they want to see me succeed, want to see our team succeed. They want to see me get healthy and we all want to win.

"Listen, I can't think about any other franchise or anything like that."

Later, Howard said, "I love where I'm at. I have no problem with L.A."

Still, he becomes a free agent on July 1, and there's a possibility he could leave for another team without the Lakers getting anything in return. That's why Howard's name has come up frequently in trade talks. And, in what comes as no surprise, the Nets been brought up as a possible destination.

Brooklyn would have to acquire Howard via trade because its already over the salary cap and therefore would be unable to sign him in the offseason.

"I understand about all the trade talks," said Howard, 27, who is having arguably the worst statistical season of his career. "But (Lakers president) Jim Buss has made it clear that nobody is getting traded. (GM) Mitch (Kupchak) has made it clear, and they're going to leave the decision at the end of the year up to me. But I think it's too early to separate this team."

In light of everything that occurred last season -- his trade request, the Stan Van Gundy fiasco, him flip-flopping over and over before shockingly deciding to give up his early termination option -- Howard was asked how he wants the basketball world to view him.

"First of all, I'm not a crybaby," Howard replied. "I didn't try to cry my way out of Orlando. That was never my intention or not what I did at all. And I understand everybody thought it was that way because of what was being put out there, but I'm not indecisive. I know what I wanted to do. It wasn't allowed. And that situation is behind me."