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Dwight Howard #12 of the Los Angeles Lakers during Game One of the Western Conference Quarterfinals of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at AT&T Center on April 21, 2013 in San Antonio, Texas. Will the Lakers' campaign to keep Dwight Howard work?
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