ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — I spent the early part of this week in Los Angeles, where the city was currently in the grips of Puig fever. If only I’d stuck around another day or so, I could have seen the Lakers start their very public recruiting of Dwight Howard.
On July 1, Dwight becomes a free agent, and he has several options available, from staying in LA to signing in Houston or Atlanta, among other options. The Lakers went through a lot to get Howard a year ago, and are now making it perfectly clear that they want him back. How clear? They went and put up billboards around Los Angeles. One or two billboards? No, according to ESPN.com, they’re putting up “six or seven” billboards in “various key locations.” They’ve even got a hashtag and everything!
The Lakers also are frank in admitting that they know some fans won’t like seeing this kind of public recruiting of a free agent. As spokesman John Black told ESPN’s Dave McMenamin, “Our opinion, which we’ve made clear, is that our top priority is signing Dwight. We want to let him know how important he is to us out in the public. We’re comfortable letting the public know how we feel.”