Will a Championship Redeem Dwight Howard?
Similar to that of LeBron James, Dwight Howard may have suffered a PR hit after the disastrous events leading up to his trade to the Los Angeles Lakers. Howard trapped the Orlando Magic in a situation where they barely had any leverage with regards to trading him to teams who can provide better assets. His goofball image was marred with his indecision and he constantly changed his mind, leaving the Magic with an awkward and lose-lose situation. The Magic couldn’t maximize Howard’s superstar status in negotiations because he only had a wish list of teams he would sign an extension with. As a result, the Magic was dealt with a package that was less than desirable with regards to what other teams could have offered.
Now Howard is in a position where he can contend for an NBA title right away. A team of Howard, Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash and Pau Gasol is deadly, and they have the opportunity to win a title his first year with the club. The question now is can his image be repaired with a championship? Will his indecision and selfishness towards this ordeal go away if the Lakers win the title? Is he this year’s LeBron James? Is he the new “villain” of the NBA? Will the Lakers suffer the same fate the Miami Heat suffered before they won their title?
Dwight Howard is in a precarious situation where his play and his every move will be scrutinized under a microscope. His every move will be watched closely and he will be in a lot of pressure to either put up or shut up. What is even more troubling is that Howard is coming back from a major injury and he could be forced into coming back early to prove that he is still Superman.
However, as was the case with LeBron, a championship will change everything. As long as Howard makes a speedy recovery and he can be a major contributor to the Lakers’ championship aspirations, then all this brouhaha will be forgiven.