Bold, and some say, desperate Lakers billboards splashed up on Staples Center and on Hollywood Boulevard last week. They brandish an all-caps plea to Lakers center Dwight Howard: “STAY.” The billboards could be a futile effort according to an ESPN story Thursday. It's just one report, but ESPN's Chris Broussard wrote, "There is very little chance of Dwight Howard re-signing with the Los Angeles Lakers this summer, according to sources close to the situation."
Howard becomes a free agent July 1. The Lakers can offer him a five-year, $118-million contract, while other teams such as Houston, Dallas and Atlanta have to cap offers at $88 million. Still, sources say Howard is willing to take a pay cut for a better-fitting team. Plus, many fans insist Los Angeles' team would be better off without Howard.
So why is the Lakers organization bothering with a public plea asking him to stay? Is it a risky campaign? Do you think a boombox serenade, John-Cusack style, is worthwhile or is it undignified?
Bill Plaschke, Sports Columnist, Los Angeles Times