Dwight Howard’s Image Would Be Forver Tarnished If He Left LA Lakers

Dwight Howard's image has been on life support since he joined the Los Angeles Lakers, and if he spurns them this summer, it would be tarnished beyond repair.

There isn't an illustrious history that exists between Howard and the Lakers organization. He was traded to them less than a year ago. Leaving Tinseltown wouldn't be like him deserting the Orlando Magic.

It would be worse.

Los Angeles isn't more entitled to Howard than Orlando was. The Lakers haven't invested more in him than the Magic did. Not even close. But they're prepared to. And they have the means to. Because they're the Lakers.

Howard wanted to play in a bigger market, and Los Angeles is one of the biggest there is. He wanted to play for a team that would contend for a championship, and given who the Lakers are and the financial flexibility they have moving forward, they're going to do just that.

So why leave? Why exit left from one of the most prominent stages in all of sports? Why would you dissociate yourself from a franchise that exists only to win titles?

You wouldn't. You just don't. Especially if you're Howard.

Superman has spent the entire 2012-13 campaign attempting to restore his once-infallible image. Leaving would undo everything he has done and push him to the point of no return.

To believe Howard would do that to himself after the Orlando debacle borders on inconceivable. There shouldn't even be a decision for him to make. But according to Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com, there is:

According to several sources familiar with Howard's thinking, Howard will likely explore free agency before reaching his final decision. In today's media landscape, that means there will be a circus in July while Howard hears pitches from the likes of the Dallas Mavericks and Cleveland Cavaliers. 

Even if it is merely Howard doing his due diligence before making a major ...

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