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Dwight Howard annoyed by contract talk

2/9/2011 - NBA Dwight Howard Orlando Magic + more

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.

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."