You would think playing with Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant would be enough to make you really desire a trade to LA. But it might not be enough for Orlando Magic big man Dwight Howard, who really not just wants to be on a great team, but be its most marketable star.
Though it may pain the purists, it's not just about basketball for Howard. He wants to take his brand global, to leverage the international influence of Russian owner Mikhail Prokhorov while building his brand as Brooklyn's first star. His wandering eye is enticed not only by the Barclays Center that is set to open next season, but the businesses in the booming area around it that could afford many off-court opportunities. He wants, as one source said, to "be Kobe Bryant, not be with Kobe Bryant." Of course, it's hardly that simple.
The bright side for Lakers fans is they might not have to worry so much about losing Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol if they can't get Howard, and they know that they'll be riding with the team they have now.