In advance of the Orlando Magic's preseason game Wednesday against Dwight Howard and the Houston Rockets, John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com interviewed the Rockets superstar, who is Orlando's all-time leading scorer, rebounder, and shot-blocker. Howard forced his way out of the Magic after a tumultuous 2011/12 season, culminating with a trade to the Los Angeles Lakers. A less-than-100-percent Howard went on to lead the league in rebounding, but elected to leave L.A. in free agency to team with James Harden in Houston, where he believes the roster is similar to the Orlando one which he helped take to the 2009 NBA Finals.
Though Howard misses Orlando--"getting out in the community" is one thing, he told Denton--he believes he made the right choice in leaving the City Beautiful. "I have no regrets and I’m happy that everything happened the way that it happened."
Howard is over the Magic, but there is one point of contention that he has with the franchise. "His only remaining beef with the Magic," Denton says, "is that they gave away his No. 12 last season to Tobias Harris." Orlando acquired Harris from the Milwaukee Bucks at the NBA trading deadline in exchange for J.J. Redick and others.
"I’m still a little upset about the No. 12," Howard said. "I just think despite whatever happened, there were a lot of things that I did and we did as a team. That number is special down there."
As Denton notes, Harris selected 12 to honor Morgan Childs, a former teammate who died of leukemia at age 17. Howard was not aware of Harris' inspiration when he made those comments.
Denton's full interview with Howard is available at OrlandoMagic.com.
The Magic and Rockets square off on Wednesday, October 16th, at 8 PM Eastern. NBA TV is set to provide television coverage.