Dwight being Dwight.
Showing 21 posts tagged dwight howard
Jason Terry is sporting the Reebok Kamikaze II’s tonight. And Dwight Howard is wearing some sort of shoulder bra that the NBA approved 15mins before tip-off.
Gerald Henderson dunks on Dwight Howard. Dunk of the year?
“Right now I wish we had the Washington Generals on our schedule.” — Kobe Bryant(Photo via: SI)
If you watched wrestling like me growing up, you remember when the much talked about debut of Rocky Maivia happened in the WWF.
Touted as a third generation wrestler, Maivia took his father and grandfather’s ring names and was marketed as a fan favorite character. He was a physical specimen (included as a description to push the comparison that’s to come), and was as sound a technical wrestler as they came.
Except, the fans saw through all that and never warmed up to a promoted product that had no substance behind it.
But the WWF recognized the situation, and turned the fan’s hostility into an advantage, rebranding Maivia as “The Rock”, he turned into a villain before being so great at that role that he came full circle into the most beloved fan favorite wrestler of his generation.
That, was a long-winded introduction to say that I see a lot of that in Dwight Howard.
But there’s more.
Fingers will be pointed at Stan Van Gundy for breaching the confidentiality of in-house matters and taking it public, fracturing a team that’s just recently recovered from Howard’s trade deadline fiasco and seemly prepared to make a futile run at a title that they’re not close to competing for.
But what I see is a coach who’s been fed up all year, a coach wired to devoting endless hours of his life preparing his team and putting them in the best position to win, that’s been impeded by his best player. You can pick apart Van Gundy’s coaching style, but you can’t deny his preparations.
I’m on his side for this one. He effectively put the ball back in the court of the Magic management: if you so desire to please your superstar player who made a half-hearted committment to your franchise at the trade deadline, I’m happy to stop steering this ship.
I command him for that. It may have been a calculated move, but it was one that comes as a result of year-long frustrations.
As for Howard’s immediate reactions as the media came down on Van Gundy’s claims? He deflected the questions, claimed he was just a player, and not in a position to make those moves, as if he is fully unaware of how much he’s held hostage in Orlando this year.
Which brings me to an article written by Bill Simmons during the lockout before the season, when he questioned the general intelligence of players, calling them dumb and unable to make the right decisions.
Those were charged accusations met with much criticism, and deservedly so. But perhaps he was scratching the surface of a much deeper issue.
It’s not that the players are stupid and unable to fend for themselves, it’s that they’ve been put in positions where they actually underestimate the intelligence of us, as the fans.
Howard’s claims of innocence, replies spoken with half-truths and general dismissiveness to the situation is an insult to all of us, because he actually thinks that we believe what he is saying. He thinks of himself as a fan favorite, but seems completely unaware that the perceptions of him have changed, and those changes are now permanent.
Whatever goodwill he’s earned since entering the league has evaporated a long time ago, now he just stands as a gifted physical specimen, without an identity that anyone can relate to.
In this age of micro-analysis and transparency, Howard’s reactions are behind with the times. We know what your motives are, we know your agendas. We see through it all.
We’re not smarter than the players, but if they continue to treat the fans and media with such disrespect, it’s just going to further expose the personality flaws and poor decisions that these franchise players continue to make.
That list is getting way too long at this point.
With the NBA trade deadline approaching this Thursday, months of talks on what will happen to Dwight Howard will finally be addressed.
As the situation intensifies in Orlando, I keep coming back to a quote from season 5 of The Sopranos, when Tony struggled with the decision to kill his cousin Tony Blundetto for the sake of his business. In the end, he realized that “more is lost by inaction than wrong action” and committed the kill.
This is precisely the position the Magic organization have been pulled into by Dwight Howard’s season long passive aggressive attempt at holding the franchise hostage while still maintaining his reputation as the fun loving center who just wants to win.
We’ve been here before, whether it was Lebron with the Cavaliers, Carmelo with the Nuggets or Bosh with the Raptors.
In Cleveland’s case, they went all-in with the team, which was considered a serious championship contender, fell short and watched their franchise player leave them behind. Whether a championship would’ve forced Lebron’s return is a great what-if, but it would’ve definitely softened the bitterness of his departure.
Interesting because after last night’s win over Miami, Howard declared his intentions to stay in Orlando for the remainder of the season, and vowed that the Magic should roll the dice for a playoff run.
As if his limited wish list didn’t already destroy any leverage the organization had in trade talks, now he’s come out and let it be known that he can be had in free agency this summer. Let me stay for a few months, and I’ll decide whether to change my mind after the playoffs
The hostage situation worsens.
There’s been reports of internal conflict among members of Magic management on whether it’s actually realistic that Howard will have a change of heart, and that’s the core reason for the inaction thus far on what should be an obvious decision: trade your disgruntled superstar before you’re left with nothing.
Of all the previous examples listed above, the Howard situation mirrors Bosh’s free agency in Toronto the most. The Raptors weren’t satisfied with the trade offers at the deadline and at the time was playing great basketball which created the belief that a deep playoff run would secure Bosh’s long-term future with the team.
Instead, the team fell apart down the stretch and missed the playoffs entirely. The Raptors were always a longshot, convinced themselves otherwise, and wound up empty handed. The wrong action may have been to trade Bosh while sitting in a playoff spot at the deadline and gotten below fair value for their asset. But their inaction set them back even further.
The same result is bound to happen in Orlando unless they recognize the best decision for the franchise long-term is to deal Howard now for the best available package.
Granted, no one will be entirely satisfied if the return is Brook Lopez, or some lesser front court player. But to stand pat and let Howard further dictate the terms of his departure this summer and leave the organization with any return on their asset? That’s a much worse conclusion. And even if he does stay, the entire episode has revealed so much about Howard’s mindset that I’m not entirely sure you don’t want to start over anyways.
Of course, should the Magic come to their senses and Howard moves to a new team at the deadline, some Magic fans will always wonder if they could’ve kept him, made a deep playoff run and convinced him to stay. But believe me, that what if will beat whatever pain and bitterness that’s forthcoming when he leaves for nothing in a few months.
It’s only a lesser of two evils, but parting ways and starting over is the most logical move for the Magic. But in a league that’s allowed its marquee players to hold entire organizations’ hostage, logic has gone out the window a long time ago.
Here are some thoughts from All-Star weekend:
- The dunk contest represents everything the NBA is not: The dunk contest officially hit rock bottom this year, with four relatively anonymous names (to the general viewing audience) and tired gimmicks that overshadowed some impressive dunks. When Kevin Durant tweeted after the game that Lebron, Wade, Derrick Rose and Russell Westbrook should enter the contest next year, he echoed the thoughts of many: it’s time to make the dunk contest relevant again. But I don’t think we necessarily need to bring the biggest names out to rejuvenate the event. We just need better personalities. While it’s easy to merge these two thoughts of best players and best personalities as one, remember that some of your favorite interviews and best follows on Twitter are not necessarily from the top guys. Though he tried his best to entertained, Chase Budinger is still, well, Chase Budinger. We still don’t know who Jeremy Evans is, and despite being rising stars in a league of many, Paul George and Derrick Williams don’t have that connection and reach to an outer audience. For a professional sports league brimming with individuality, it’s tragic that the one event that takes center stage on All-Star Weekend highlights everything that the NBA is not: boring, stagnant and deprived of any fun.
- My favorite photo from this past weekend: Chris Bosh being Chris Bosh.
- The All-Star game, surprisingly entertaining: The first five minutes of the game salvaged the entire weekend. The real stars came out and put on a show for the fans. Continuing with the theme of individuality, every superstar’s personality came through in the game. From Derrick Rose’s surly response to his teammate’s dancing during the introductions, to Kobe mouthing off to anyone within his line of vision, to Dwight Howard generally not taking much of anything too seriously, it was a reminder of why even though the quality of basketball has suffered, it’s nice to have these players around instead of hibernating through a nuclear winter of lockout talk. Even watching Russell Westbrook’s athleticism on display without the shadow of whether he’s taking too many possessions away from Durant, and Deron Williams exiled from New Jersey for one night and back on the big stage, there were so many interesting subplots to follow that made what is often called a farce, surprisingly entertaining.
- My favorite tweet from this weekend: Ozzie Guillen on Nicki Minaj.
- What’s our opinion on Dwyane Wade? For the past two years now, Wade has gotten away with almost everything. When in doubt, blame Lebron. From The Decision, to their mocking of Dirk’s sickness during the Finals, it seems Wade is protected as all the criticism is directed towards Lebron. On Sunday, Wade broke the unspoken rules of the all-star game and took a swipe at Bryant that resulted in a broken nose and a mild concussion. Competitive? Or out of line? I’m surprised more hasn’t been made about this. In the same breath, it was Wade who bobbled a breakaway pass from Lebron with over a minute left that would’ve put the East in the lead. Of course, it’s easier to lament Lebron’s deference on the final possessions. Slowly but surely, I’m starting to view Wade as a bigger villain than Lebron. To be continued.
- The tipping point for our hatred of Lebron James might’ve been this weekend: You know it’s crazy that we’re all sitting here criticizing Lebron’s passiveness in the final seconds of an all-star game. Key word: all-star game. Somewhere in Lebron’s head, he genuinely believes that when he’s making these passes and not taking the final shots, he’s making the best basketball decision on the court that’ll lead to victory. And who are we to question the best basketball player in the world right now? The criticisms for Lebron since the Decision have gone from reasonable with a touch of bitterness to irrational with complete bias and jealousy. I think this Sunday will be the tipping point where we will all start moving towards rooting for Lebron again. When he’s in that position again in the playoffs, with much more on the line, we will find ourselves rooting for Lebron to take that shot, and root for that shot to go in. If only to satisfy our desire to move onto to the next conversation. And that’s the best storyline as we head into the second half. This is Lebron’s championship to lose. Even as we’ve waited year after year for him to come through, it seems the pieces are finally in place. But we’ve been down this road before. If anything, we are moving closer towards embracing Lebron again. I can’t be the only one. But if he falls short again, we will re-start this conversation with another year’s worth of evidence to support all that we hate about him.
3 In The Key
1. Mr. Big Shot and other incorrect assumptions
Chauncey Billups is a guard who shoots three pointers too early in the shot clock too often. But somehow, his reputation as a clutch point guard and NBA Finals MVP with the Detroit Pistons continues to carry him to this day.
Every one of those shots that he takes is a reminder of his reputation, instead of a consideration of the possibility that these are simply bad shots, and that it may be time to move past what we once thought of the player.
And really, it is consistent with the behavior we have about people in every walk of life. The people that we know, that we work with, that we hear about. Reputations are a hard thing to shed, for better or worse.
Take Russell Westbrook: now known to die-hard and casual fans of basketball as a shoot-first point guard whose selfish ways are getting in the team of this perfect machine that they’re building on Oklahoma City. But if you read Zach Lowe’s breakdown of Westbrook’s game, you see a 23 year point guard who has very fixable flaws with a huge ceiling of growth left. Plus he’s already running the most efficient offense in the league.
Once a general perception spreads, there’s no stopping it. But what will make the game more enjoyable for us as these players grow into and out of their reputations is to recognize that the development and decline of these players are fluid. What they are now won’t be what they are in a few years. And what they once was probably isn’t what they are now.
Recognizing and understanding that players continue to evolve will help all of us in assessing how a team continues to grow, instead of taking a stagnant view that is generally behind the curve.
2. The championship hangover
In 2007, the Miami Heat were coming off their first NBA championship in franchise history, with Shaquille O’Neal and Dwyane Wade, the team look destined to challenge for several more titles.
On opening night that year, they raised the banner and lost 108-66 to the Chicago Bulls. It was a sign of things to come. The Heat labored through the season, finishing 44-38 and were swept in the first round by the same Bulls. The next season it all came apart, Shaq was traded and the team didn’t return to contention until last year.
This season, the Mavericks seem to be following the same script. Coming off their first championship, Dallas was dominated in their opening day game against Miami. They followed that with another flat outing at home against Denver, than a buzzer beating loss in Oklahoma City.
The defending champions have righted the ship, and stand at 10-7. And now comes news that Dirk Nowitzki will be taking a week off to “resolve some physical issues and conditioning issues”.
It also doesn’t help that to position themselves for cap room in the long-term, Mark Cuban has assembled a completely different team than last season. Players like Vince Carter, Lamar Odom and Delonte West have been brought it to supplant the depth of the roster. Gone are younger talent like Rudy Fernandez, J.J. Barea, Tyson Chandler and Corey Brewer.
There’s no doubt this team will be there come playoff time, but given that they seem to be following the blueprint of the 2007 Miami Heat and pace themselves for the post-season, the Mavericks might find that their year-long hangover will come back to haunt them in the first round.
3. Dwight Howard’s wish list
Dwight Howard is so dominant in two aspects of the game that’s the least glamorous — defense and rebounding — that it’s made him an underrated player on the court even as he carries flaws on the offensive end with him.
But you can’t say he commands the same respect with his off the court comments and decisions regarding his pending free agency.
Last week, Howard added the Clippers to his wish-list of teams he’d be willing to go to, in addition to the Nets, Lakers and Mavericks.
What exactly is Dwight Howard’s true intentions when it comes to assembling his wish list?
Is it not safe to assume that winning is the most important thing to him?
The Mavericks will be a year older next year, so Howard would be teaming up with Nowitzki and an aging core in the West that’s filled with up and coming teams. If the Lakers were to acquire Howard, it would strip the depth of an already thin team. Same for the Nets, who have arguably the worst roster in the entire league.
Why hasn’t Howard considered other teams like Philadelphia, Chicago, or Minnesota. Each of these teams would be willing trade partners with the necessary trade pieces to provide Orlando with that they need, at the same time these teams could add Howard without decimating the core roster.
Since superstars demanding trades to a team of their choice is becoming an annual occurrence, Howard should at least get it right. Look at how Carmelo Anthony has struggled in New York. Sometimes it’s not about what city you go to, but looking at what makes the most sense from a basketball standpoint.
Players would be wise to try to take control of that too. If you’re going to be selfish, at least do it right.
Dwight Howard thinks the Magic should retire Penny Hardaway’s jersey.
“I think when the season starts – whenever that may be – he should have his jersey put up for what he did not just the team, but for the city. We all know how great Penny has been for the game of basketball.”
No word on Lil’ Penny.
Wow! Looks like Dwight Howard is pulling out all the stops for his “Larger Than Life” NBA All-Star Weekend Party, because nothing says “Larger Than Life” than Antonio Cromartie and Willis McGahee as your co-hosts? Am I right?
This was Dwight Howard last night mocking LeBron’s pregame routine in Orlando, we’ll give D12 some cred, it was pretty funny. But guessing by LeBron’s performance dropping 51 points on the Magic including 23 in the first quarter, James didn’t find it very funny. Boom! Roasted.
Dwight Howard took his talents to Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland on Tuesday night, and by talents we mean impersonating LeBron James’ famous chalk toss.
I think what they say about dogs and their owners looking alike is so true — the same could be said about Stan Van and Dwight Howard. So different, yet so similar.
Dwight Howard almost jumps out of the United Center to block this layup attempt by Luol Deng. Why not just wear a cape all the time D12?