Dwight Howard Doesn’t Get It

Washington Wizards v/s Orlando Magic February ...

He's a big dude, with a big problem. ... Image via Wikipedia

With the NBA trade deadline fast approaching (Thursday, March 15), perhaps the biggest question around the league is: Will Orlando trade Dwight Howard? The interest in Howard’s situation, though perhaps overhyped, is nonetheless valid, since he’s one of only a tiny handful of legitimate centers in the league, and capable of a 20-point, 20-rebound game any time he steps on the court. Orlando’s decision to trade or keep him, however, is overshadowing one crucial aspect of Howard’s situation: The thing he is seeking is the thing he already has, and he doesn’t want what he already has.

Howard has made it clear that he wants to be on a team where he’s “the man.” He doesn’t want to be traded to Chicago, because reigning MVP Derrick Rose would steal some of his thunder, and no way is he going to play for the Lakers as long as Kobe Bryant is still around. The New Jersey Nets really want Howard, as do the Dallas Mavericks, and both teams are particularly interested in pairing him with All-Star point guard Deron Williams … but Williams’ presence would keep Howard from being “the man.”

Gosh, the situation Howard is seeking sounds an awful lot like …. hmmm, his current setup in Orlando. With no other big names or All-Stars on the Magic roster, Howard is definitely “the man” in Orlando—but that’s just the problem: the Magic are never going to win the title with just one really good player, yet Howard doesn’t want to play with other big names … but he already has that situation in Orlando yet doesn’t want to play there anymore, because they won’t “surround him with the necessary talent.” Huh?

That’s right; Dwight’s upset with the Magic for not surrounding him with the talent required to win a title, yet he doesn’t want to share the spotlight with anyone, even though that’s what it would take for him to ever win a title. In other words, he wants to be on a team that’s good enough to win a championship but has no other notable names besides his own.

Sorry, Dwight, that’s not gonna happen, because there is no such team. Perhaps you disagree; perhaps you look at last year’s title winner, the Mavericks, and are saying to yourself, “They won with just Dirk! That’s what I’m talking about. That’s what I want!” If that’s the case, you’re wrong; the Mavs didn’t win with “just Dirk.” Jason Terry made quite a name for himself in last season’s Finals, as did J.J. Barea and Tyson Chandler, and without those three, Dirk doesn’t win a title. Even though none of those three is a superstar, each of them came through in the clutch and made headlines—which is to say, they made it so Dirk didn’t get all the attention. That’s the way it’s always going to be with championship teams, and that’s the way it should be. Dwight Howard is looking for the impossible, and unless he (not his employer or teammates) changes, he’ll continue to be unhappy.

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