If this NBA off-season has taught us anything, it’s how players have too much power in deciding what team they play for. Especially with an expiring contract, it’s too easy for players to say they won’t resign with a team to go somewhere else.
Yes, I’m aiming my criticism at Dwight Howard. I don’t know if Howard is aware of this fact, but he’s still under contract with the Orlando Magic. They still have his rights as an NBA player. He’s not a free agent and he shouldn’t be acting like one. Orlando should make whatever trade is good for them and not worry about Howard’s feelings on the team he goes to.
It’s obvious he made a mistake by opting into a one-year-deal to stay in Orlando. But his antics have been going on for over a year, which have handicapped Orlando from making a trade. Up to today, any team that wasn’t the Nets wasn’t good enough in Howard’s eyes for him to sign with. Reports are that he will sign an extension with the Lakers if he were to be traded there.
Howard has looked petty, pathetic and immature throughout this entire debacle with the Magic. The same team that made him the first pick in the 2004 draft has to see him act like a brat to get his way in a trade.
NBA players today not only want to be loved in the way of a rich contract, but they want to be adored by teams and fans. The player that calls him “Superman” wants to play the part of a superhero for an NBA team and be hoisted on a pedestal. Howard is closer to Kim Kardashian than he is Superman, or even Shaq.
Andrew Bynum isn’t out of the woods on this either. For someone who showed up, sometimes, and called out his coach after being benched shouldn’t be picky on where he’s traded. In the new deal that would send Howard to the Lakers, Bynum would go to Cleveland with a year left on his contract. Of course, Bynum doesn’t wouldn’t resign with the Cavilers, holding up a trade that would end this Howard saga.
It’s amazing any team wants to trade for someone who has acted so childish over the last year. But also remember Howard had back surgery in April and might not be ready for the start of the season. Even if he is able to play, there’s no telling when he could re-injure his back. Outside of turf toe, a back injury is one of the worst, nagging injuries an athlete could get. Its slows the entire body down and its dangerous to try and play through.
I thought James proved that one man isn’t more important than the league. Howard must not have watched “The Decision” or he would know not to make his off-season a reality show.