Can Lakers’ Hollywood Connections Keep Dwight Howard in Los Angeles?

The Los Angeles Lakers are a storied franchise with a legacy of success, which is what makes it all the stranger that they're planning to pull out all of the stops in an effort to retain Dwight Howard. Apparently, it's desperation time in L.A.

The Lakers kicked off their pitch to Howard, who'll officially become a free agent on July 1, with a one-word plea on the side of the Staples Center.

Giant banners begging Howard to stay are sort of unbecoming for a franchise with the kind of history the Lakers have. This sort of thing feels more appropriate in a small college town when a beloved football coach is thinking of taking the big offer from an instate powerhouse.

In Los Angeles, it just seems hokey.

But get ready for the Lakers to lower themselves even further, because the "Stay" campaign has only just begun.

What could the use of Hollywood connections possibly entail?

Maybe Jack Nicholson will put together a re-cut of his famous scene in The Shining in which he reduces a door to splinters and crazily yells "Here's Dwight!" through the opening.

And if that doesn't work, perhaps we can expect George Clooney and Brad Pitt to put together a PSA in which they laud the benefits of living in Southern California. It could end with $118 million raining down from the ceiling as a reminder of the money Howard would be giving up if he left Tinseltown.

Or maybe the Lakers could commission Lisa Loeb to rewrite some of the lyrics to this:

I don't know about you, but I'm moved.

In the event Howard's not a fan of sappy '90s pop tunes (though, I don't see how that's possible), the Lakers will probably resort to more building-related entreaties. You know, like:

Free agency is war, though, so expect the Houston Rockets to retaliate with their own campaigns for Howard.

Hey, they can only offer $88...

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