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Could Magic bring Dwight Howard back home to lineup?

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Is it time for Dwight Howard to come home to the Orlando Magic?

Once a repulsive thought, because Howard didn’t leave a lot of fuzzy feelings when he left, time has eased the sting. These days, Howard, 30, is thought of as an elder statesman who can still play a little bit. And if the Magic can put together a deal of bringing Howard home, and Chandler Parsons with him, it could turn Orlando into a playoff team overnight.

One of the people who endorses the move, in fact, is former Magic center Shaq O’Neal, who also left the Magic in his prime.

“I think it would be good for the city,” O’Neal, a 15-time All-Star, said Monday on ESPN. “First of all, after the first time he left, letting a big young guy get away, it shouldn’t happen a second time. All the puzzle [pieces] have to fit.”

With Howard, the Magic had four straight 50-win seasons. In the last four, however, the team has won only 101 games. But this year (33 wins) is the best the team has done since Howard left, leaving all of us to wonder if things would be better if he was back.

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit

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