“We have to play like we like each other. Even if we don’t want to be friends off the court, when we step in bwtween the lines we have to respect each other.” – Anonymous Big Man.
No longer can we continue to ignore the elephant in a room full of ivory poachers. Its simply time to hold Dwight Howard accountable.
Look. I’m not going to sit here and pontificate about how bad the 15-18 Los Angeles Lakers are. I’m not going to mention their glaring weaknesses or lack of team chemistry as a whole. I’m not going to criticize Mike D’Antoni as being the wrong fit for a team poorly put together in hindsight. In fact, we’re not even going to point out that D’Antoni doing a terrible job of managing egos (Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Howard, and Antwan Jamison, the classiest dude in the NBA). This is what the Lakers asked for.
The problem is, the normal media circus that surrounds theLakersis turning into a cacophony of the Ides of March. And Howard is Caesar in a room of fed-up Senators.
News broke that after theLakers’recent loss to the Philadelphia 76ers, a scuffle broke out between Howard and Kobe Bryant, where Howard had to be restrained by teammates, and looks visibly frustrated in a situation he wanted since last year. But this is what he wanted. (Sidenote, how is Metta World Peace the most sane person in this locker room right now?)
Howard wanted the attention and glamour the Lakers commanded. He wanted to be the heir to the throne that Kobe retains as the franchise player for a popular franchise. He wanted to force his way out of the Orlando Magic with a year left on his contract, publicly whining about not playing for the Brooklyn Nets and shutting his season down early due to back injury. He advocated for his coach Stan Van Gundy to be fired, only to backtrack it in public. All this turmoil. All this mess. This is what he asked for.
Howard is no longer the lovable, charismatic big man we’ve all been accustomed to since his arrival in 2004. Once drawing comparisons to David Robinson, Howard is now probably the most maligned and criticized big man in the league. His numbers are good (17 points per game, 12 rebounds, 2.6 blocks per game) but its all for a lost cause. The Lakers are 15-18, and are 11th in the loaded Western Conference. Howard used his pride and ego to get out of Orlando, and may have gambled his legacy as result.
There are two tragedies in the world. One is not getting what you want, and the other is getting what you want.
So Dwight Howard….are you happy?
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