As the Los Angeles Lakers await for Dwight Howard‘s decision on which team he intends to sign with, the organization on early Wednesday morning removed a banner supporting the eight-year veteran outside of Staples Center according to Arash Markazi of ESPNLA.com.
The banner depicted a photo of Howard alongside the word “STAY” and the Twitter hashtag #STAYD12, and had been on display for a week.
Staples Center officials said the plan was to take down the banner proceeding the Los Angeles Sparks-Minnesota Lynx WNBA game on Tuesday night. The Lakers have also put up six billboards along with several mobile billboards across Los Angeles. The schedules to take down the billboards in each location are different because some were put on display sooner than others, which means that the time each billboard will be removed will vary.
A team source also said that the placement of the banner and billboards across Los Angeles sole purpose was to be influential before and just after the free-agency period had begun on Monday, and to take advantage of the publicity during last week’s BET Awards, which took place across the street at the Nokia Theatre.
Howard has held meetings with the Houston Rockets, Golden State Warriors and Atlanta Hawks on Sunday and Monday and met with the Lakers and Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday.
The three-time Defensive Player of the Year is expected to make his decision by Friday.