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Howard's comments shock ex-Orlando Magic teammates

The Associated Press
Published:   |   Updated: March 18, 2013 at 10:13 PM

Magic forward Glen Davis said Thursday that he was taken aback by Dwight Howard's recent critique of his time and former teammates in Orlando and should keep the focus on his situation in Los Angeles.

Davis is recovering from a broken left foot, but said he was aware that Howard said this week the Magic are made up of players nobody wanted and that the comments speak for themselves. Davis spent only one season with Howard before the former Magic center was dealt to the Lakers this offseason.

"Really shocked. Amazed how he's approaching this," Davis said. "I would think (Howard would) focus on his team and what he's doing. I'm gonna let Dwight be Dwight. Everybody sees what he's going through and how he's feeling. I'm an Orlando Magic. I love my guys I play with and that's that I focus on. He let his comments be his comments, but his comments speak for itself."

In describing his situation in Orlando during a television interview with a Los Angeles station Howard said in part the Magic were "full of people that nobody wanted."

He tried to clarify the statement Wednesday night, saying in New Orleans on Wednesday that he only meant they were underrated and overlooked.

Magic guard Jameer Nelson's initial reaction was that Howard needed to take some ownership in the situation, and Nelson said Thursday he sticks by that. But Nelson said with the Lakers visiting next week, it only adds to the backdrop.

The Magic beat Howard's Lakers 113-103 in Los Angeles on Dec. 2. They host the Lakers Tuesday night in Howard's first return to Orlando in a different uniform since he was traded this past offseason.

Howard and the Magic surprised many in the NBA when they made a run to the Finals in 2009.

His trade was the capstone of a turbulent final season for Howard in Orlando that included trade demands, Howard's calls for roster shake-ups, and purported overtures to have former coach Stan Van Gundy replaced.

The roster demands particularly affected Nelson, after Howard publicly suggested the addition of a new point guard, at one time even suggesting the Magic pursue trading for Chris Paul.

Howard and Nelson entered the league together in 2004 and were at one time the closest of friends.

Asked Thursday if he considered the current back and forth over now, Nelson said he plans not to let it affect him.

"Hopefully this — whatever you want to call the situation — this passes over," he said. "It's probably about to get crazier because we're about to play them in a few games. Which is fine. It'll be a little bit more for the fans to get into."

THUNDER 95, KNICKS 94

Knicks guard J.R. Smith scored 36 points in Carmelo Anthony's absence but missed a game-winner in the final seconds as Oklahoma City escaped Madison Square Garden with a victory.

Kevin Durant led the Thunder with 34 points.

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