Dwight Howard is feeling the California Love.
Dallas, too. Houston and Atlanta, you in the house?
Mr. Howard is entertaining all four suitors starting July 1 when the free-agency period begins. It's the NBA's version of match.com for a guy with commitment issues. Howard could bolt from Los Angeles and join his third NBA team in as many seasons.
Which leads us to the most pressing question in the Summer of Love for Mr. Howard and the NBA Nation.
Is there an NBA uniform that will match Dwight Howard's true colors as a malcontent and underachiever?
The obvious answer is a resounding "No!" Of course, I am speaking on a behalf of a city that burned by Howard's ego in the well-chronicled Dwightmare saga during his last season with the Orlando Magic in 2012.
Dwight was staying. He was going. No, maybe he was staying. He loved Orlando! Oops, maybe not so much.
Howard finally forced a trade, which was the worst move possible from a career standpoint.
Howard had it all here. Most important, he didn't have to worry about accountability as the alpha dog of a mid-level NBA franchise. But somehow Howard and his handlers managed to convince themselves that a man of Howard's fame and prestige belonged on Rodeo Drive, not Church Street.
We saw how that worked out so splendidly in Howard's first — and maybe only season — in Los Angeles. He clashed with Kobe Bryant. Never seemed to get in sync with the team's offensive flow. Struggled with health issues following back surgery. And then there was his pièce de résistance — getting tossed out in the final game of a first-round playoff sweep against the San Antonio Spurs.
That earned Howard the most damning label you can stick on an athlete — quitter.
But here's where the Dwight Drama gets stranger. A lot of people remain smitten with him.
"I reached out to him and told him we'd love to have him," Dallas Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki told ESPN.
The Hawks were fined by the NBA for mentioning Howard in a letter to potential ticket buyers. The Rockets, the first team expected to meet with Howard, reportedly will bring the star-power of Hakeem Olajuwon, James Harden and Kevin McHale to the negotiating table.
And the Lakers have put out up billboards and banners in the L.A. area — including the Staples Center — with a large photo of Dwight and the phrase "#STAYD12."
Been there, done that, and have the StayDwight.com memorabilia to prove it.
"The Lakers want my StayDwight.com campaign now?" wrote my buddy Ryan Totka, who started the ill-fated campaign to keep Dwight in Orlando. "They can have the domain name. Lots of time, money and effort invested already!"
Sigh. Apparently none of these teams got the memo from Orlando. Magic CEO Alex Martins once tried to ply Dwight with his favorite junk food — chicken fingers, French fries, Skittles, Krispy Kreme doughnuts — as part of the re-recruiting pitch.
The Magic were left with empty wrappers and frosting on their fingers as Dwight's tastes swayed toward the Lakers.
Sure, Orlando probably still suffers from the "we hate you because we got dumped" syndrome. But doesn't it feel good to be vindicated?
Orlando was never the problem. It was Howard. Always will be.
One veteran coach recently described Howard very appropriately to me: "Dwight is all about the entertainment, not the competition."
It's a standard rap on Howard, and a valid one.
Howard doesn't do accountability. He seems to be OK with becoming the most talented journeyman in NBA history, bouncing around from city to city in search of some team willing to excuse his egotistical deficiencies.
So go ahead and grovel, L.A. You too, Dallas. Houston and Atlanta, may as well join the club.
One of you will find out soon enough:
Dwight Howard's true love isn't basketball or the competitive drive of winning championships.
It's about looking at himself in the mirror, where he is always the fairest of them all.