As cliché as it may be, it usually isn’t wise to mix family and business — and it appears that both Howard and Samples have finally figured that out after nine years of working together.
After Howard was drafted by the Orlando Magic in 2004, Howard’s parents had Samples live with Howard to serve as a big brother figure to keep him out of trouble. That relationship grew to Samples becoming Howard’s manager and, ultimately, Dwight Howard Enterprises, a company that only had two employees — Howard and Samples. Howard spoke to the OC Register’s Kevin Ding about the split.
“We had nine great years together,” Howard told me late Monday night. “Just time to go separate ways.”
Considering Samples was Howard’s primary advisor for his whole career, letting him go on the heels of the whole “Dwightmare” situation that led him to end up in Lakerland shows that his recent maturity is, indeed, real growth. Howard has been saying that he wants to be a more focused, goal-oriented individual in recent days, and spoke to Ding about that as well.
“I know what I want to accomplish,” Howard said. “I’ve always written down my goals and everything I want, and I want to make sure I get ’em. Everything I’ve lost, everything that’s gone away, I’m going to get it back.”
It has not been said whether or not Howard will end up hiring another manager, but in the mean time it looks like the Lakers big man will make decisions on his own for the time being. Howard has reiterated that the personal relationship between him and Samples is not tarnished at all, separating was purely a business move, and likely a wise one for Howard who has been heavily criticized for some of the decisions that Samples has helped him make over the course of his career.