Dwight Howard was quoted saying: “I don’t have any regrets, you know. I think everything happened the way that it was meant to happen. I really just wish some of the lies and some of the things being said didn’t come out the way it did. And it was a tug of war between my feelings and the fans and everybody else and their feelings and what happened to LeBron James. And I saw him — everybody hated him for leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers and what he did. I never wanted anybody to hate me, you know. I wanted everybody to love me, you know, like me, for sticking around and doing what they wanted me to do. And making everybody else happy. And that was a valuable lesson for me, you know. I can’t make everybody happy.”
He certainly didn’t do anything over the last year and a half to prove that he wasn’t acting like an immature prima donna. His indecision probably cost some of the Orlando Magic brass to get fired and the opt-in at last year’s trade deadline was totally unnecessary.
When you think about it, James actually handled his situation better. Sure, it could be argued that James gave up on his Cleveland teammates in the postseason of 2010. But he didn’t whine and moan his way from almost being traded multiple times midway through the last season and a half, like Howard did.
Howard tried to please everybody and it failed. He tried to make everybody happy, but he confused a lot of people in the process. He should’ve just let his contract play out before moving on to save the fans and the Magic a whole lot of problems and complications. The Magic did end up with a trade package, and they can say that they didn’t lose him for nothing. But at what cost? The Magic brass is in complete disarray over the situation. Howard’s image and brand has taken a hit, and Howard’s actions made James’ “The Decision” pale in comparison.
Howard now needs to take an image makeover. He now has to deal with the fact that he can’t please everybody. He’s now in a position where, aside from Los Angeles Lakers fans, he may be hated by fans from multiple fan bases. All he needs to do now is concentrate on the game of basketball. Let everything play out and allow the haters to gradually go back to his side. As long as he plays to the level that people know him for, he will earn back all the respect from his peers, the media and fans alike.