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Old 07-12-2007, 07:29 PM   #1
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Default Dwight Howard gets $80mil extension

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ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- Only 21 years old, Dwight Howard already says he wants to retire in Orlando.

He committed to sticking around for a while longer Thursday, as the former No. 1 overall pick signed a five-year contract extension worth approximately $80 million.

"Me and Mickey Mouse will be here forever," Howard joked.

It was Orlando's second multimillion dollar move in two days. The Magic officially pulled free agent All-Star Rashard Lewis from Seattle on Wednesday, agreeing to a six-year contract worth more than $110 million in a a sign-and-trade deal.

Those two moves will define the team for the foreseeable future, and general manager Otis Smith likes what he sees.

"You have to have a big guy in the middle. [Coach Stan Van Gundy] talked about the great perimeter players, and I feel very good about the opportunity to sign a big guy for a long period of time," Smith said.

Howard averaged a team-best 17.6 points and 12.3 rebounds last season, making his first All-Star game. He has not missed any of Orlando's 82 regular-season games in three seasons, and already holds the franchise record for consecutive games played (246).

Howard shot 81 percent from the field over a five-game stretch last season, 10th best in NBA history behind eight Wilt Chamberlain performances and one stretch from Bob Hanson. He finished second in the league in field goal percentage at 60.3 percent, and third in rebounding.

He says he's still improving.

"Orlando has really seen just a little bit of Dwight Howard," he said. "There are a lot of things that I need to do to get better. I don't really think I have scratched the surface of the things I know I am capable of doing, but each year and each game is an experience for me. And really I am just so excited right now, it's hard to explain."

Like Lewis, Howard joined the league straight out of high school. But the 265-pounder from Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy was the top overall pick, while Lewis slipped into the second round.

Still, Howard said he didn't feel pressured. Not as a team leader and not as the recipient of a rich new deal.

"God didn't give me big shoulders for nothing, so I feel I can handle a lot of pressure," he said. "I am just very excited."

Howard and Lewis speak highly of each other, and both are excited to play on the same team. Lewis gives Orlando a prolific scorer inside and out -- a 6-foot-10 3-point threat to combine with Howard's brute inside strength.

"My goal is to win a championship and we just added a great piece to our team that is going to help us get to that level," Howard said.

The Magic have also transformed themselves by subtraction. Grant Hill signed with the Phoenix Suns after seven injury-plagued seasons here, and Orlando allowed Darko Milicic to go elsewhere. The 7-footer left on bad terms after the Magic stopped pursuing him, a reversal from Smith's promise he was an offseason priority.

The team has also been through three head coaches, firing Brian Hill, hiring and losing Billy Donovan and finally tapping Van Gundy.

The former Miami Heat coach said some forget how skilled Howard is for his age.

"Just go back and try to find me people that at his age have been as good, and then just look at the career graph of big guys," he said. "They are going to keep improving, always have. Their peak is sort of somewhere at 29-30, so there is a lot of development for him over the years."

Copyright 2007 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Now will he improve his OVERALL game?
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Old 07-12-2007, 07:31 PM   #2
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Default Re: Dwight Howard gets $80mil extension

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Only 21 years old, Dwight Howard already says he wants to retire in Orlando.
Bold statement. Now teach him some post moves and he's good to go.
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Old 07-12-2007, 07:33 PM   #3
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Default Re: Dwight Howard gets $80mil extension

The Magic have invested over 200 million in their future in less than a week.
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Old 07-12-2007, 07:35 PM   #4
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Default Re: Dwight Howard gets $80mil extension

when Dwights kicks in, that will be somethin like 35 mil on two players
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Old 07-12-2007, 07:40 PM   #5
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Default Re: Dwight Howard gets $80mil extension

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Originally Posted by GOBB
Now will he improve his OVERALL game?



He has to if he wants to contend for a championship..GO DWIGHT
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Old 07-12-2007, 07:40 PM   #6
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Default Re: Dwight Howard gets $80mil extension

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Originally Posted by Richie2k6
Bold statement. Now teach him some post moves and he's good to go.

3yrs in the NBA and he hasnt been taught?

Outside of rebounding what is Dwight great at? I'm curious.
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Old 07-12-2007, 07:41 PM   #7
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Default Re: Dwight Howard gets $80mil extension

Magic won't contend for a championship.
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Old 07-12-2007, 07:41 PM   #8
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Default Re: Dwight Howard gets $80mil extension

you wanna hear something funny?

imagine another grant hill/T-mac fiasco

AHAHAHHA
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Old 07-12-2007, 07:42 PM   #9
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Default Re: Dwight Howard gets $80mil extension

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Originally Posted by aahhsin
you wanna hear something funny?

imagine another grant hill/T-mac fiasco

AHAHAHHA

I dont get it.
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Old 07-12-2007, 07:47 PM   #10
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Default Re: Dwight Howard gets $80mil extension

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Originally Posted by GOBB
3yrs in the NBA and he hasnt been taught?

Outside of rebounding what is Dwight great at? I'm curious.
I know... I don't see why he isn't exactly a good fundamental player. Aside from rebounding, I can't really think of many strengths of his, maybe blocking?
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Old 07-12-2007, 07:48 PM   #11
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Default Re: Dwight Howard gets $80mil extension

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Originally Posted by GOBB
3yrs in the NBA and he hasnt been taught?

Outside of rebounding what is Dwight great at? I'm curious.
Um fg%.

If he gets a little mid range J and a hook shot, he will be good to go.
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Old 07-12-2007, 07:52 PM   #12
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Default Re: Dwight Howard gets $80mil extension

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Um fg%.
That's not a skill. That's just dunks and layups.
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If he gets a little mid range J
I wouldn't want my 6"10 250 or whatever pound center shooting 15 footers. I'd want him banging down low and being a prototypcial big man. I don't see him developing a jumper in his repetoire.
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Old 07-12-2007, 07:55 PM   #13
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Default Re: Dwight Howard gets $80mil extension

He's not even a great blocker. I mean at 1.9? Eh

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Originally Posted by Cannonball
Um fg%.

If he gets a little mid range J and a hook shot, he will be good to go.

FG%? Please STFU.
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Old 07-12-2007, 07:58 PM   #14
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Default Re: Dwight Howard gets $80mil extension

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Originally Posted by Richie2k6
That's not a skill. That's just dunks and layups.

I wouldn't want my 6"10 250 or whatever pound center shooting 15 footers. I'd want him banging down low and being a prototypcial big man. I don't see him developing a jumper in his repetoire.

Exactly...heck give me a hook shot. One of them spin to the baseline hook shots. One in the paint hook shot. Incoroporate a hook shot please. I know big men take time to develop...something that will happen to Oden. But its about progress and I dont see how he improved that much this past season from the year before. If it continues again this year there Orlando has a problem.
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Old 07-12-2007, 08:03 PM   #15
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Default Re: Dwight Howard gets $80mil extension

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FG%? Please STFU.

It's true, the Magic rarely run plays for Dwight. With a better point guard that would actually feed him the ball, he would be a much better scorer. Maybe the addition of Lewis will keep attention away from Dwight and his scoring average could go up a good amount this year.
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