There have been plenty of rumors that indicated that Boston was not on his short list of preferred destinations, but Dwight Howard was asked point blank if he would answer the phone if Danny Ainge came calling in the offseason. Here's what he had to say.
This is the collective response from Celtics nation.
"So you're telling me there's a chance... *YEAH!* " (see here)
Before we get too carried away (yeah, right), consider that there are still many miles before this decision can be made and that is assuming that Howard isn't traded somewhere before then (where he could potentially sign a longer contract in the offseason). Still, it is hard to read the following quotes and not get at least a little hopeful.
"You know," said Howard, "you look at a team like Boston and look at a team like LA who's won . . . especially Boston. Man, those guys came together and they didn't care who scored all the points. They had done all the individual stuff.
"You know, for me, I've done a lot of things individually, but I want a championship. All those accolades that I've got over the years, they mean a lot, but it's just different watching teams hold up that trophy and knowing how hard you have to work to get it.
"They have the championship mentality," he said of the Celts. "It means a lot. Like I said, I like the team. They play hard and they go after it, and that's what I like."
So here's my pitch to Howard if I'm Danny Ainge.
You and Rondo would solidify the two most critical positions on the basketball court. Everything else is relatively easy from that point on. We'll still have some money to spend to bring in other players (and we'll spend it more wisely than Otis Smith did). You talk about championships, well we've got a championship organization with one of the best coaches in the business locked in for the long haul. With you in place, we can build a new dynasty.
And here's the kicker. You can learn from the best from the start. You saw first hand that Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce can still be dominant at times. Ray Allen is going to be draining 3 pointers when he's 50. Pierce is already locked in for a couple of years and we can bring back Ray and KG for a song.
They won't be the stars that they were a couple years ago, but that'll be your job now. Some of them might even be coming off the bench, if you can imagine that. You can soak up all their knowledge and experience for a year or two and if all goes well win a title or two before they officially retire. Then it will be your team and along the way we'll develop or acquire another couple of championship pieces to continue the pursuit of banners.
Speaking of banners, lets take a tour of the facilities. Oh, look who's here, Mr. Bill Russell. I'm sure you remember that heart warming video of him talking to Kevin Garnett and accepting him into the Celtic family. Imagine if that were you sitting across from him. Think about it.
If championships are really what is most important to you, Boston needs to be at the top of your list. We know championships.
(Will this pitch work? I don't know, I guess there's a chance. And that's all that we can ask.)