In a television interview published on Tuesday, former Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard said his teams in Orlando were "full of people who nobody wanted." On Wednesday, Magic point guard Jameer Nelson, one of the three players on Orlando's roster to be a teammate of Howard's, responded.
"At some point, when are you gonna, as a man, when are you going to take ownership and stay out of the media in a professional manner?" Nelson said, according to Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel.
"I would be less of a man to comment on certain things that people comment on about me and my teammates."
Nelson and Howard joined the Magic together in 2004, with Orlando selecting Howard first overall in the Draft, and then obtaining Nelson's rights from the Denver Nuggets in exchange for a future first-round pick. They served as team co-captains and helped lead the club to an NBA Finals appearance in 2009. Howard's preference for playing alongside a superstar point guard, as Schmitz notes, hurt Nelson; rumors suggesting that Howard pushed the Magic to acquire Chris Paul and Deron Williams began to surface.
In October, Nelson said Superman used to be his favorite superhero, "but not anymore," a reference to one of Howard's nicknames.
The Magic traded Howard, at his request, to the Los Angeles Lakers in August. Howard and the Lakers visit Amway Center for the first time since the trade on Tuesday, March 12th.