The ubiquitous story of Dwight Howard’s potential departure from Orlando has been both a distraction from relevant NBA news and annoying.
I can’t tune my TV to ESPN for more than 20 minutes before there’s an update about Dwight Howard and his most recent stance. What’s worse is that these supposed updates don’t contain any new news. The “updates” merely consists of fluctuations from Howard’s previous platform.
In the eyes of media and fans alike, Howard can’t come to a definitive answer about what he wants. Subsequently, the constant switching of “I want to be traded” and “I love Orlando, and want to stay here” has annoyed true NBA fans to no end, regardless of whether their favorite team has a stake in his potential destination.
Howard, as well as his entourage of representatives, should assume fault with much of the ownness falling squarely on Howard’s shoulders. It’s shameful that one of the NBA’s most likeable stars has placed himself in position to have his reputation tarnished forever. Howard consistently leads the league in rebounding, so he better hope his reputation has the same uncanny ability to rebound.
His inconsistency concerning wishes about where to play next year has alienated his teammates and Orlando fan base. It’s absolutely ridiculous how Howard has disserviced his fans and supporters in Orlando. For means of personal gain and the desire to “build his brand,” Howard seemingly has forgotten that acquriring and retaining fan loyalty represents a large portion of brand building. Consumers don’t buy products produced or endorsed by people or companies they dont like.
Orlando may not possess the marquee market status that the Miami Heat, Los Angeles Lakers or New York Knicks have, but is Orlando really that small of a market? How can the home of Disneyworld, Universal Studios, Sea World and Island of Adventures fall into a small market category.
Realistically speaking, people come from all around the world to visit attractions in Oralando. Furthermore, bastketball extends beyond United State’s borders. The 12 teams currently competing in London’s 2012 Olympics offers proof, and that disregards an array of other nations that failed to qualify. Howards concerns stating that Orlando doesn’t possess a large enough market are invalid.
Yet, more has been sacrificed in Orlando’s frantic pursuit to retain Howards Services. The Magic fired capable coach Stan Van Gundy, and separated with their tenured general manager, (GM) Otis Smith, in attempts to appease Howard.
Van Gundy generated 259 wins versus 135 loses in the regular seadson, 31-28 in the playoffs, during his 5-year stint as head coach, and Smith was responsible for building teams that made the playoffs in six consecutive seasons including a NBA Finals appearance in 2009, according to Associated Press.
It’s absurb that Howard caused two competent individuals to lose thier jobs in the midst of his primmadonna soap opera. He should have to reimburse them for lost wages, especially since its clear that he wont be staying in Orlando beyond next season.
LeBron James receieved unparalled crititcism for his role in Nike’s mass production of “The Decision,” in addition to the way fans felt he shafted his hometown, but Howard’s episode may be worse. In essence, Howard makes LeBron’s heavily criticized decision look like an ideal business model. At least Lebron’s decision didnt waver every other week.
Howard’s nickname, “Superman”, hasn’t served this situation justice. Instead he should be berated with the NFL’s phrase of disapproval “C’mon Man!”
Dwight Howard, his agents, the media and anybody else surrounding this pig sty of a situation could do fans a great favor if they kept these so-called updates quiet. It’s no longer relevant in fan’s eyes, and quite frankly, nobody cares! So when, or if, Howard ever gets traded wait until then to break the news/update.