Print and Go Back ESPN.com: NBA [Print without images]

Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Updated: February 9, 4:33 PM ET
Dwight Howard annoyed by contract talk

Associated Press

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Magic center Dwight Howard said he is annoyed by the recent talk about his contract and the possibility he would leave Orlando when he becomes a free agent.

Howard expounded on some recent Twitter comments Tuesday morning at the Magic's practice before Tuesday night's game against the Los Angeles Clippers.

Howard
Howard

He said his situation should not be compared to what happened with Miami's LeBron James or what is going on with Denver's Carmelo Anthony because they "have nothing to do with Dwight Howard."

Howard said he's "really tired of" the contract talk and that he wants "to help this franchise win a championship."

Howard's current contract runs through the 2012-13 season, but he could utilize an early termination option and become a free agent after next season.

"Yeah, I am annoyed," Howard said. "I can't sign a contract this year. I can't sign anywhere this summer, so why keep bringing it up? Why are people talking about me going any other place right now? Right now is about this season. It's not about L.A., New York or whatever. I'm really tired of it. I don't wanna be talking about where I'm gonna be playing basketball next or people in Orlando asking me 'Are you going to leave us?"'

Magic fan Mike Philpot sent Howard this message via Twitter on Monday afternoon: "D12 be different. Stay in Orlando. You can own this city. See Jordan and Tim Duncan for examples."

Howard responded with: "I never said I wanted to leave stop reading the rumors. It's really stupid. And annoying to be honest. They tryna make something outta nothing I have another yr under my contract before I can sign."

On Tuesday, when asked about the Twitter exchange, Howard expressed even more discontent about recent reports that have surfaced in the past few weeks about his future. There have been reports that Howard is flirting with the idea of going to larger markets like New York or Los Angeles should Orlando not win an NBA title.

"I never said anything about leaving," Howard said. "I never said anything about me not being happy here or me 'pulling a LeBron' like people say on Twitter. But I'm just really tired of it. I want to help this franchise win a championship."

Howard also doesn't want to be compared to how James handled his departure from Cleveland or what is happening with Anthony in Denver.

"That's Carmelo and LeBron," Howard said. "That has nothing to do with Dwight Howard. I'm focused on this season. This is the moment right here. When we get down the road to 2012 or whenever when it's time to sign, then we can talk about that stuff. But as for now, I don't wanna be talking about it. There's no need to bring up what's gonna happen in the future.

"We can't go to the future right now anyway."

Magic President of Basketball Operations Otis Smith said in published reports earlier this year that he planned to offer Howard a contract this summer. But while Howard was direct about his disdain over the speculation around him Tuesday, he has yet to deflect the rumors by saying that he would re-sign with the Magic.

For now, though, Howard said he isn't thinking about the future - whatever it may hold.

"No. I think about tonight's game and what we have to do to win a championship," he said. "That's the only thing on my mind."