Charles Barkley recently told the media, “I love Dwight Howard as a person and as a player, but he’s getting on my last damn nerve.” This was a follow-up on the comments that Barkley had previously made to ESPNDallas, where he stated that Howard, “needs to grow up and make a decision.”
Dwight Howard isn’t the easiest player to deal with. When he wants something, he gets it, or he makes someone else get it for him. Howard has countless great characteristics. He is one of the best center’s in the league right now. Almost any NBA team would be lucky to have him. Coupled with his unmatched talent and ability, he can be difficult. Very difficult. However, because Dwight Howard is Dwight Howard, is his behaviour justified? Is he just doing what is required of him to further his career?
Howard has had his eyes on the Brooklyn Nets for a while now. Previously, he has been open to being traded to the Los Angeles Lakers or Dallas Mavericks. It’s obvious that being in an Alpha or Beta City in order to experience the celebrity that comes with being an NBA star, is a vital component of the trade negations. The Nets aren’t going to happen but Howard hasn’t been picked up by another team yet either.
Howard likes attention, he likes the media and he likes feeling like a big deal. And that’s okay. He doesn’t sugar-coat his needs or desires the way that other players do. Steve Nash signed with the Los Angeles Lakers as opposed to Toronto because he wanted a ring. If he wanted to play for a team that wasn’t going to win a championship and stay close to his family, he didn’t need to go anywhere. The Toronto Raptors, although they have a bright future with lots of developing talent, are not going to win the NBA championship in the upcoming NBA season. Why is it so frowned upon to be truthful about ones desire to win and have highly memorable careers? Like Nash, Ray Allen and LeBron James took their talents to better teams because it was necessary for their career ambitions.
Howard is being criticized for being honest and trying to fulfill his potential. Not every NBA player has the power that Howard has to make teams play by his rules. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the Dwight Howard situation. In fact, it is odd that the Nets didn’t do more to acquire Howard. If you are the Nets and Superman is begging to come play for you, then you do anything you can to make it happen.