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Are Magic disrespecting Howard?

Two teams removed from the franchise with which he made his name, Dwight Howard is a little miffed. That's because the Orlando Magic are letting promising youngster Tobias Harris wear No. 12 -- the same number Howard donned before his contentious exit to Los Angeles. It's reportedly unclear whether Howard knows why Harris wears 12 -- as a tribute to a close friend who died of leukemia as a teenager. But to some that might not matter, after Howard all but forced his way out of the Sunshine State.

  • Should the Magic allow other players to wear No. 12 post-Dwight Howard?

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      87%
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      7%
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      6%

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  • What is your opinion of Dwight Howard?

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      13%
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      50%
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      37%

    Discuss (Total votes: 56,536)

  • If you were a Magic fan, what would you most remember about Dwight Howard's eight seasons in Orlando?

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      24%
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      76%

    Discuss (Total votes: 28,676)

  • Which player had the better Magic career?

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      20%
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      80%

    Discuss (Total votes: 56,336)

  • When will the Magic next make the playoffs?

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      5%
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      23%
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      72%

    Discuss (Total votes: 8,679)

  • What grade do you give the Orlando Magic's post-Dwight Howard rebuilding project?

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      21%
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      38%
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      21%
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      14%

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LeBron James has won four of the past five NBA Most Valuable Player awards -- Kevin Durant has placed second in three of those four years. Will this be the season Durant finally takes the crown as the league's best player, or is LeBron the favorite to become just the fourth player in NBA history to win three consecutive MVP awards? Where does the reigning scoring champion Carmelo Anthony fit in? Is young Kyrie Irving on your radar?

The NBA ESPN Forecast panel had their say, and now it's time for SportsNation to weigh in. Set your rankings below, then head to Twitter to join the discussion via #ESPNForecast.

NBA MVP candidates

Carmelo Anthony

Carmelo Anthony

Knicks, F
2012-13: 28.7 PPG, 2.6 APG, 6.9 RPG

Stephen Curry

Stephen Curry

Warriors, G
2012-13: 22.9 PPG, 6.9 APG, 4.0 RPG

Tim Duncan

Tim Duncan

Spurs, F
2012-13: 17.8 PPG, 9.9 RPG, 2.7 BPG

Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant

Thunder, F
2012-13: 28.1 PPG, 4.6 APG, 7.9 RPG

Paul George

Paul George

Pacers, F
2012-13: 17.4 PPG, 4.1 APG, 7.6 RPG

James Harden

James Harden

Rockets, G
2012-13: 25.9 PPG, 5.8 APG, 4.9 RPG

Dwight Howard

Dwight Howard

Rockets, C
2012-13: 17.1 PPG, 12.4 RPG, 2.4 BPG

Kyrie Irving

Kyrie Irving

Cavaliers, G
2012-13: 22.5 PPG, 5.9 APG, 3.7 RPG

LeBron James

LeBron James

Heat, F
2012-13: 26.8 PPG, 7.3 APG, 8.0 RPG

Tony Parker

Tony Parker

Spurs, G
2012-13: 20.3 PPG, 7.6 APG, 3.0 RPG

Chris Paul

Chris Paul

Clippers, G
2012-13: 16.9 PPG, 9.7 APG, 3.7 RPG

Derrick Rose

Derrick Rose

Bulls, G
2011-12: 21.8 PPG, 7.9 APG, 3.4 RPG

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NBA releases 2013-14 schedule

The bad news: The NBA doesn't start for nearly three months. The good news: We know where and when that -- and all the other regular-season games -- will happen, as the league released its 2013-14 schedule on Tuesday. Opening night features a couple of marquee matchups, with the presumably Derrick Rose-ified Chicago Bulls visiting the defending-champion Miami Heat, and the surging Los Angeles Clippers facing the scuffling Los Angeles Lakers. Also on the docket: a typically packed Christmas Day, along with big reunions between Dwight Howard and the Lakers (Nov. 7) and the return of Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to Boston (Jan. 26).

  • Which of these 2013-14 regular-season NBA games are you most looking forward to?

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      51%
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      18%
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    Discuss (Total votes: 211,965)

  • The L.A. teams square off on opening night. How many times will the Clippers beat the Lakers this season?

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      3%
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      4%
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      17%
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      45%
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  • Which Christmas Day game are you most looking forward to?

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      19%
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      17%
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      34%
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      13%
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      17%

    Discuss (Total votes: 42,912)

  • Do you feel bad about the Heat having to spend Thanksgiving and Christmas on the road?

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      23%
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      77%

    Discuss (Total votes: 53,739)

  • How many regular-season NBA games do you usually attend per year?

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      52%
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      38%
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      6%
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      4%

    Discuss (Total votes: 18,409)

  • Which NBA team will finish with the best record in 2013-14?

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      15%
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      49%
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      6%
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      13%
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      17%

    Discuss (Total votes: 19,762)

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Whom do you love? When it comes to the NBA, it appears fans now prefer LeBron James. Yes, according to the latest ESPN Sports Poll, the Miami Heat star -- he of the ill-received "The Decision," but also of the last two MVPs and NBA championships -- took first for the first time in four years, named a favorite by 12.9 percent of fans. Among others, he bested fellow multiple champion Kobe Bryant (12.5 percent). Rounding out the top five: Kevin Durant (3.6), Derrick Rose (2.8) and Dwyane Wade (2.6). Who are your favorites? Make your picks from this list of stars!

Your favorite NBA players

Carmelo Anthony

Carmelo Anthony

New York Knicks

Chris Bosh

Chris Bosh

Miami Heat

Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant

Los Angeles Lakers

Stephen Curry

Stephen Curry

Golden State Warriors

Tim Duncan

Tim Duncan

San Antonio Spurs

Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant

Oklahoma City Thunder

Kevin Garnett

Kevin Garnett

Brooklyn Nets

Blake Griffin

Blake Griffin

Los Angeles Clippers

James Harden

James Harden

Houston Rockets

Dwight Howard

Dwight Howard

Houston Rockets

Kyrie Irving

Kyrie Irving

Cleveland Cavaliers

LeBron James

LeBron James

Miami Heat

Kevin Love

Kevin Love

Minnesota Timberwolves

Steve Nash

Steve Nash

Los Angeles Lakers

Dirk Nowitzki

Dirk Nowitzki

Dallas Mavericks

Tony Parker

Tony Parker

San Antonio Spurs

Chris Paul

Chris Paul

Los Angeles Clippers

Paul Pierce

Paul Pierce

Brooklyn Nets

Zach Randolph

Zach Randolph

Memphis Grizzlies

Rajon Rondo

Rajon Rondo

Boston Celtics

Derrick Rose

Derrick Rose

Chicago Bulls

Dwyane Wade

Dwyane Wade

Miami Heat

Russell Westbrook

Russell Westbrook

Oklahoma City Thunder

Deron Williams

Deron Williams

Brooklyn Nets

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Mavericks free agency

Mavericks owner Mark Cuban says his team is better off not having signed free-agent center Dwight Howard. It's the second year in a row that Cuban has fallen short in recruiting the best available player to Dallas, as he failed to land Deron Williams in 2011.

This year, Cuban says missing out on Howard means he will be able to add players. So far he's signed Jose Calderon, agreed with Monta Ellis, Wayne Ellington and Samuel Dalembert and reportedly is close to deals with Devin Harris and Brandan Wright. Are the Mavericks really better off? Vote below!

  • Mark Cuban said the Mavericks are in a better spot for not acquiring Dwight Howard. Do you agree?

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      58%
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      42%

    Discuss (Total votes: 119,554)

  • How will the Mavericks fare in the 2013-14 season?

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      49%
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      40%
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      9%
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      1%
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      1%

    Discuss (Total votes: 8,996)

  • How do you rate the Mavericks' performance in free agency so far this summer?

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      2%
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      22%
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      47%
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      29%

    Discuss (Total votes: 8,565)

  • Would you want Mark Cuban as the owner of your favorite team?

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      58%
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      42%

    Discuss (Total votes: 8,717)

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