Dwight Howard gave an update on his health to Sam Amick of the USA Today, saying he suffers from tingling and an occasional loss of feeling in his feet, and gave a slight hint about his plans for free agency in the summer, expressing a desire to inherit the team's leadership role from Kobe Bryant.
"But there's going to come a day where he's going to be gone, and that's when I have to step in and fill that void and take this team to the next level," Howard said. "That's why I'm here. That's why they wanted me here, and I'm going to do my job and my part to make sure this team gets there – and it starts with me."
We'll surely hear more from Howard in the coming months, but in the meantime, here's more from the Western Conference.
- When he signed with the Mavs late last month, Derek Fisher had a handshake agreement with owner Mark Cuban that allowed Fisher to leave if he felt he needed to be with family, as he did when he asked Dallas to release him this week. Jeff Caplan of NBA.com has the details. Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles notes via Twitter that there's no family health issue that led Fisher to leave the team.
- Fisher endured a contentious year as president of the player's union, but unless he returns to play in the NBA, it appears his tenure will soon come to an end. Fisher was at odds with other members of the union's executive committee, but as SB Nation's Tom Ziller points out, only four of the nine committee members are still in the league (Twitter link).
- Jarrett Jack is satisfied with his backup role with the Warriors, and isn't putting too much thought into his unrestricted free agency next summer, as he tells Lang Greene of HoopsWorld. The point guard also said he anticipated the Hornets would trade this past summer when New Orleans selected Austin Rivers with the 10th overall pick.
- The HoopsWorld scribe also checks in with Thunder point guard Eric Maynor, another point guard set to become a free agent next summer.