Dwight Howard: A box of roses for me from LeBron?
*Reads note*: Dear Dwight,
Keep making me look good I love what you’re doing with your coach and team it’s awesome. See you in the playoffs!
For good or bad, better or worse “The Decision” by LeBron James will always be remembered. No one wants to remember how LeBron treated the season before in regards to how he handled the questions and attention that came with trying to see what he was going to do; the only thing that will forever be remembered is the words “I’m taking my talents to south beach”.
Dwight Howard was this season’s LeBron. Since last season the world has been wondering where Howard was going to go, whether he was going to stay in Orlando, or move onto to another city. For the past 4-5 years it seems as though we have been dealing with and lobbying for insight on where guys were going more than the performance on the court. From LeBron, Chris Bosh, Dwayne Wade, to Carmelo Anthony last year, to this year’s participants being Howard, Deron Williams, and Chris Paul (before he was traded) when it comes to these athletes and other high profile athletes their in-season decisions can less important to some people than their offseason decisions.
The Link between LeBron and Dwight is similar in ways more than some of the others. Of those groups of players listed above only Wade has an NBA title. Dwight and LeBron both made were number one draft picks in their respective draft classes, and came in the league with very high expectations to revive struggling franchises. Both were able to bring their franchises to NBA finals when no one expected to. Dwight’s lone finals appearance actually came at the expense of beating LeBron in the conference finals. Both also lost in their first appearance in the finals.
So what links them this time around?
Easy: the way their situations are being handled. LeBron never forced his way out Cleveland. LeBron showed up to the gym played basketball and went home. When reporters asked him about his upcoming free agency sometimes he gave them an answer or a quote but for the most part it was simply “next question” or “l will handle that when it’s time”. Since the lockout was done Dwight has not handled it this way. It started with Dwight having his agent meet with nets management over dinner. Dwight later told Magic management that he wanted to be traded even giving in a list of teams of where he wanted to be traded. Up until All-Star weekend it seemed as Howard was giving the world 2 answers every week. On Monday he was saying he wanted to be traded by Friday he was saying he wanted to stay “and see how this works out” when All-Star weekend arrived Howard did not answer a question about the free agency, it was wise, it was smart, it was something he should have probably been doing all season long. He welcomed the NBA world into the arena that was built for him, and did his best to make everyone feel at home.
When the trade deadline was 24 hours away the Magic had put out that they was indeed going to trade Howard instead of him walking out in free agency? The seriousness of being traded seemed to have scared Howard who came out and said he wanted to stay and finish the job then decided to opt in and stay for another year. Howard’s indecisiveness all season made the magic decided to give Howard 24 hours to think over his decision as he decided on the plane he wanted to stay. 24 hours later Howard decided to not change his mind and signed the papers making him Magic for at least another year.
So for all of this you would think the Dwight saga would be over right? NO. Suddenly Howard now wants his coach Stan Van Gundy fired, and if you ask the coach he’ll tell you he’s known this all year. With this entire situation going on it makes you wonder and realize that what LeBron did was not bad at all compared to this. It seemed everyone before and including CP3 and Deron Williams this year was on board the “I’m just going to play basketball and see whatever happens” train except Dwight Howard. Maybe it was the people around him who caused him to act this way but at the same time he is a grown man. Maybe he just wanted to feel what it was like to be wanted by so many teams and be recruited considering he did not go through the college process since he went straight to the NBA from high school.
All of this plays in to what he has done this year. The fact that his opt in is only for next year just shows that unless he signs an extension over the summer we will be doing this all over again next year, if that’s the case can he at least do something LeBron did and give all proceeds to his decision to the Boys and Girls Clubs of America?