A Very American Coup By Michael – Louis Ingram, Editor-in-Chief...
Howard Follows His Heart
Maybe, his decision to stay was due to the warm weather and based on the fact that there was no sale tax in Florida.
Or maybe, he didn’t want to walk in the same huge footsteps as Shaquille O’Neal by joining forces with Kobe in LA?
But whatever the reason, after a little soul-searching, the poor free-throw shooting, giant-kid, with the broad shoulders and limited low-post moves, was staying in Orlando.
“The Magic fans are ecstatic” said Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel.
“They want to give the guy a key to the city, even if they might have to change the locks after next season.”
Yes, Dwight Howard was staying in Orlando after an exhausting rumor-filled, trade-talking decision came to a non-climatic end.
I AM LOYAL
Shockingly, during a press conference before the NBA trade-deadline on Friday, the “smiling Superstar” agreed to waive the early termination option in his contract, which guarantees that the 3-time NBA Defensive Player of Year would have to stay in sunny Florida for another year.
“It’s not as easy as people think…” confessed Howard, who is averaging 21.2 ppg and 15.2 rebounds per game this season.
“It’s very hard. You are talking about a career changing event….”
Yes, after flip-flopping and flirting with leaving Disneyland to take his talents to L.A., Brooklyn, Dallas, and even Chicago, the so-called Man of Steel was softer than cotton candy as he claimed his loyalty to the Magic.
“I believe loyalty is before anything…” Howard stated.
Howard’s calculated usage of the word loyalty seemed to suggest to NBA fans that he wasn’t like another superstar athlete in Florida, whose difficult decision to leave his hometown caused many to hate him.
The loyalty term, in effect, caused Miami Heat Dwyane Wade to tweet “Loyalty…HahaHa”
Howard, in essence, in the minds of many NBA analysts, feared that the same hatred that the “self-appointed King” faced and chose to stay in Orlando.
Plus, he believed that the current Magic team, who are 28-16, which is the 3rd best record in the Eastern Conference, has a great opportunity to win a NBA Championship this year, especially after a defeating the Miami Heat on March 13.
A BIG FISH IN A SMALL POND
Even though his poor (PR) campaign seemed sincere, it still smelled a little fishy.
As a result, the metaphor of “the big fish in a small pond, which feared leaving the small pond because the big ocean was filled with too many sharks” fit Dwight Howard’s perfectly choreographed press conference.
For this reason, many sports writers felt the corniness and constant clowning by Howard would have been frowned upon by the Brooklyn bad boys, which produced legendary Hip-Hop figures like Biggie Smalls, Big Daddy Kane, and Shawn Carter aka Jay-Z, who is a partial owner of the New Jersey Nets, if he had failed to deliver an instant championship.
Besides, if you think it would have been easy for Howard in New York, just take a look at how difficult it has been for Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudmaire to please those pesky New York Knick fans.
In other words, Howard would have had to develop some very tough skin in order to survive in the big apple.
Unfortunately, Howard’s high school playfulness and youthfulness is his own self-afflicting “Kryptonite,” which has potentially stunted his growth as a professional basketball player.
His on court pouting, seemingly lackluster effort as well as his disappearing act during big games has many broadcasters believing that his untimely immaturity is a result of not playing college-basketball and not experiencing the joy of on-campus living.
Too be truthful, his leap from high school straight to the Pros maybe the only reason this superstar hasn’t won a NBA championship, just like another “ringless” baller in Florida.
As a result, if Howard had decided to leave Orlando for the bright lights of Broadway, the seriousness of the NY sports scene, which has a 24 hour media and a nasty tabloid press, would probably have been too much for the gentle giant, who allegedly has several children born out of wedlock plus an ex-girlfriend, who appears on the controversial television show “Basketball Wives.”
I AM STAYING
But by choosing to stay in Orlando, Howard has sidestepped all of the stress of playing basketball in the big city as well as all the media madness it would have created.
He also has avoided all of his haters, who were ready to call him a traitor like the “Ohio player” by staying loyal to his team.
Therefore, with all of the trade-talk over, the BIG fish, in the small pond, can continue to be the center of attention in Orlando.
“I just want to win a championship….” Howard confessed.
Hopefully, his decision to stay won’t backfire and leave him frustrated like a young Kevin Garnett in Minnesota, who wasted many productive years with an organization not good enough to win.