Lakers terrified Dwight Howard will leave them

Dwight Howard seems comfortable watching everyone dance for him. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

It's going to take more than Steve Nash, Kobe Bryant, sprawling banners, and a musical tweet from Phil Jackson to keep Dwight Howard in L.A.

After weeks of pleading from the Lakers and subtle elbowing and winking from Houston - how 'bout that economy, Dwight - Los Angeles seems convinced that Howard is moments away from "bolting."

Adding an additional fifth year and $30 million seemed to be the Lakers' ace in the hole, but after a fretful holiday of bumming out their relatives and sobbing gently during the fireworks, team officials aren't confident about anything anymore.

Meanwhile, Howard enjoyed being the belle of the ball at some secret location in Aspen, Colorado, where he could watch the Lakers, Rockets, Hawks, and Warriors compete for his affections in peace.

Of course, there other centers on the market.