Originally posted on Fox Sports West  |  Last updated 10/25/12
Dwight Howard told Stephen A. Smith and Ryan Ruocco on ESPN New York radio that the Brooklyn Nets were indeed his first choice this off-season, according to Mike Mazzeo of ESPNNewYork.com. "I did want to go to Brooklyn. That's a place where I told the Magic that I really wanted to go," Howard said. This isn't necessarily a startling revelation since Howard's intentions were well-known throughout the process, but Howard confirmed any doubt Thursday with that interview. Now that Howard is with the Lakers, he called it "a blessing in disguise." The Lakers shipped Andrew Bynum, along with Josh McRoberts, Christian Eyenga and multiple draft picks, in exchange for Howard in a four-team trade that included the Philadelphia 76ers and Denver Nuggets. Bynum is currently experiencing some knee discomfort and has yet to play this preseason. Howard has just one game logged for the Lakers but is likely to play opening night, while the same cannot be said of Bynum. Commissioner David Stern, who recently announced that he will step down in February 2014, gave some perspective on Howard's departure from the Magic. "If you're talking about Dwight Howard, so he was drafted by Orlando. He spent seven years there? In lieu of the eighth, Orlando got five draft picks? That's a pretty good system in my view," Stern said. "If Dwight Howard chooses to decide after seven years, which is longer than the average career in the NBA, that he'd like to be in another city, I think that's a right for which he's bargained." Howard will be a free agent this summer, and while he won't comment on his situation, the expectation by many in the NBA is that he will sign for the long term with the Lakers. Of course, the only opinion that truly holds merit is that of Howard. -Eric Pincus
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