After all the drama, and what seemed to be an almost certain exit for Dwight Howard, the superstar center will not opt out of his contract with the Orlando Magic to pursue free agency. This has been the center of much attention for Howard and the Magic for what seems like a lifetime now, and with just a few hours left before trade deadline, the circus is finally over. The decision was announced formally at the Amway Center with Howard, Magic CEO Alex Martins and GM Otis Smith on Thursday afternoon.

“It’s been very tough for me the past couple of months to make a decision,” Howard said. “I’ve gone back and forth. It’s not as easy as people think. It’s very hard.”

“I just love this city too much. I love the people here. I love this organization.”

Howard wanted to make sure he addressed the fans in his press conference stating, “I apologize for this circus I have caused to the fans of our city. They didn’t deserve none of this.”

The Magic now have a huge weight lifted off of their shoulders and should be in hot pursuit of free agents this offseason. Deron Williams, of the New Jersey Nets will likely be the Magic’s number one target, as Dwight was planning on leaving Orlando to team up with the fellow all star in New Jersey.

The Magic, now 28-16 this season, need to refocus their efforts and try to make a push to get back to the NBA Finals, which would be their first appearance since the 2008-09 season. Now it’s time to let the drama unfold ON the court.



via Yahoo! Sports