Dwight Howard Could Be Headed To China During NBA Lockout

Atlanta-native and Orlando Magic superstar Dwight Howard may not play in the Southeast Division after next season. He is intent on testing out the free agent waters.

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Dwight Howard May Play In China During NBA Lockout

Add Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic to the list of NBA star players threatening to take their talents overseas while David Stern's silly little NBA lockout shuts the door to the game developed in Massachusetts for the foreseeable future.

The former Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy Star told my colleague George Henry of the Associated Press that he could be headed to some country other than the good ole U.S.A. to play basketball next season.

"I’m not at liberty to talk about it," Howard said, "but there’s a huge possibility about me going to China or me going overseas to play basketball."

The Atlanta-native would be the second of a growing list of big-name talent outsourcing their talent around the globe. New Jersey Nets guard Deron Williams has officially accepted a contract offer to play in Turkey. And more likely than not, he will play alongside your Atlanta Hawks reserve center Zaza Pachulia.

The globalization threat seems to be the implementation of a bit of "stragetery" by NBA players to let Stern know that they have options other than sticking around and not getting paid while NBA owners such as your hometown (and presently hockey-less) Atlanta Spirit claim poverty.

Kobe Bryant is flirting with playing in Turkey and Steve Nash may be headed to Europe or China.

But it's not just the superstars headed out of the country for a while. "Depth" players who were poised to become free agents in what is increasingly looking like "the year of the lockout" such as  Sonny Weems and Sasha Vujacic have already inked deals to play next season and beyond overseas.

Can "Superman" be far behind?

"If I decide to go overseas, the main thing is for me to continue to get better, not to do the things that I normally do, but do better at the things I’m not good at," Howard told the AP. "So I can use that talent to go overseas, working on my skills and staying in great shape."

Who knows Magic fans, maybe Howard will find his long-lost free throw touch if he languishes in China for a while.


Dwight Howard Affirms Intent To Become Free Agent After 2011-12 NBA Season

Talk about non-news. Atlanta-native Dwight Howard wants to test the NBA free agent market after next season (if there is a next season in the soon-to-be locked out NBA).

The former Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy star told NBA.com's Scott Howard-Cooper that he was not going to sign a two-year contract extension to stay with the Orlando Magic -- the longest deal that he could ink under the current NBA collective bargaining agreement.

Instead, he'll test the free agent waters and look for a longer deal. Who wouldn't?

Of course, the perennial All-Star, who was reached in Italy during a break at the adidas Eurocamp, reaffirmed that he wanted to stay in the land of Mickey Mouse and make believe. However, he also talked about that other desire that drives him in his NBA career.

"I want to win a championship," Howard told NBA.com. "I think the owners have to really know that. That's been my goal and my mission since I've been in the NBA -- to win a championship. I don't have side goals or agendas. My main goal is to win a championship. I want to have 14 other guys who feel the same way."

Whether Howard would be able to do so, either with the Magic or elsewhere in the Southeast Division remains to be seen. The Magic retooled during the regular season, but were bounced by Howard's hometown Atlanta Hawks in the first round.

Ultimately, it may come down to the Orlando organization's commitment to winning and getting the right mix of championship-hungry personnel in the locker room.

"It's off and on," Howard said. "Sometimes guys are there whole-heartedly and then sometimes I've had teammates allow people getting in their ears and things like that effect the way that they play and approach the game."

For more on the Dwight Howard saga, visit SB Nation's NBA hubPeachtree Hoops, and the Orlando Pinstriped Post.

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