Dwight Howard won’t promise long-term commitment to Lakers

Whenever he makes appearances in Los Angeles, Lakers center Dwight Howard noticed the city hasn’t entirely embraced him. He understands why.

“I understand why they’re hesitating,” Howard said. “Because I haven’t signed a deal.”

Howard will become an unrestricted free agent this offseason and hasn’t publicly indicated if he will stay. He could re-sign for five years and $117.9 million instead of a four-year, $87.6 million deal with another team. He believes expressing his intentions would be a distraction.

“I’m here right now, so there’s no need for me to have one foot in and one foot out,” he said. “I’m here. I’m going to do everything I can to help this team win right now, and that’s the only thing that matters.”

Almost.

Howard conceded he’s looking forward to the summer so he can fully heal his 10-month-old surgically repaired back and aggravated labrum in his right shoulder.

I’m used to training all summer and coming back in tip-top shape,” he said. “It didn’t happen this year, so I’m looking forward to having a full summer and training camp.”

So much for living in the moment.

“That’s the only part I’m looking forward to, getting my body back,” he said. “I’m nowhere near who I was in Orlando. In Orlando, I could play 40 minutes and never get tired. Here I give you about 10 minutes.”

Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter. E-mail him at mark.medina@dailynews.com

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  • Jon K

    Dwight doesn’t understand what’s made the Lakers the Lakers: EXTREMELY high expectations and the commitment to realize them.

    He’s like many of the more immature of his generation: He thinks you get a trophy just for showing up and participating.

    It doesn’t work that way in Laker Nation.

    • http://twitter.com/MedinaLakersNBA Mark Medina

      It sounds like you don’t want Dwight here anyway

      • Jon K

        He isn’t beyond hope, but he needs to grow up.