Dwight Howard was gathering his belongings in the corner locker of the visiting room of the Wells Fargo Center, soaking in some wisdom from the great Sonny Hill, the dean of Philadelphia basketball.
Hill, a contemporary of the late Wilt Chamberlain and a father figure to Kobe Bryant -- not to mention Kobe's father, Joe "Jellybean" Bryant -- was regaling Howard with tales of how Chamberlain would've moved Shaquille O'Neal around "like a baby." Howard, who spent the lockout watching classic games involving Chamberlain and Bill Russell, just shook his head.
"Now you trippin'," he said.
It was a rare moment of basketball purity for Howard, the focal point of the latest superstar wanderlust epidemic in the NBA. It was a brief respite from the specter of his uncertain future, and how it is irreversibly entangled with the Orlando Magic's current state of decay.
It was a much needed moment, too. Howard needs distractions from the distractions, needs as much wisdom as he can get right now.