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D12: "I Want To Lead Magic To Title"

Does this sound like a guy who's getting ready to leave Orlando?

"I want to lead this team and be that guy. Kobe (Bryant) is that guy for the Lakers, Carmelo (Anthony) is that guy for the Knicks and (Michael) Jordan was the guy for the Bulls,’’ Dwight Howard said after Monday night's win over Minnesota. "I want to be great. Great players want to take that load and put a team on their backs. That’s what I want to do for this Magic team. I want to carry this team to a championship and I want them to ride my back. I want to lead this team."

Howard didn't say that he's pulled his trade request or that he's asked the Magic to stop talking to the Nets or anyone else.

But as John Denton, who works for the Magic as an in-house beat writer noted, Howard is "sounding more and more like a player committed to the Orlando Magic for the long term." It's all part of a dance that can't leave anyone happy.