Dwight Howard, and the team that nobody wanted
In case you were wondering, Dwight Howard is still insufferable when it comes to talking about himself.
In a fawning interview with Los Angeles’ local CBS station KCAL, Dwight Howard defends himself as a “coach killer,” an interesting decision considering both his former coach and team have gone on record to point out that Dwight Howard asked for coach Stan Van Gundy to be fired before and during the 2011-12 season. It’s probably true that Howard didn’t ask for Van Gundy to be killed, literally, so I suppose Dwight still has that to cling to.
That’s not even the worst of it. There’s this choice quote, as well:
"My team in Orlando was a team full of people that nobody wanted."
Awesome thing to say, Dwight Howard. Especially when two members of that team – Earl Clark and Chris Duhon – were sent to Los Angeles with you. To say nothing of all the deals former Magic GM Otis Smith made to appease Howard, including dealing for and retaining Glen Davis and Jason Richardson.
The moves Smith made after the Magic made the 2009 NBA Finals were either complete failures in retrospect, or universally panned right away. It’s very true that the Orlando Magic front office did not surround Howard with a championship level supporting cast, and Smith’s strings of reactionary moves made the situation worse with each trigger pull. The salted crops he left new Magic GM Rob Hennigan will take years to recover from. This was not an ideal roster, as championship hopefuls go.
I can say that, though. I, as a writer, am just fine to write that several members of the 2009-to-2012 Orlando Magic were players that not many teams wanted.
Dwight’s a player, though. And he still plays on a team with two of those teammates. He’s not really right in passing along that line in an interview meant to celebrate this totally nice, misunderstood guy.
Also, after calling his former Magic teammates “people that nobody wanted,” would you care to guess what reporter Kristine Leahy’s follow-up question was?
“Does Kobe like to have fun?”
Later, they promoted a shoe company advertisement.
Leahy stated after the interview that the goal of the piece was to help with Dwight Howard’s waning “likability,” and if that was the intention this whole thing was a bit of a miss. In both pieces he appears just as oblivious as ever.
We don’t dislike Dwight Howard because of unfamiliarity, or because we don’t know enough about him. We dislike the guy because he handled something that isn’t unique to him – a star struggling on a team lacking top-level teammates – completely wrong. In his desperate quest to be liked, ironically, he’s become one of the NBA’s most reviled players. Which is a complete shame, considering his gifts, because Dwight Howard should be one of the NBA’s most respected players.
In continuing to try and have it both ways, and with interviews like these, this clumsy attempt at a Q-rating comeback isn’t working as well as Howard probably thinks it is.
Here's an extended clip, where Howard talks up his impending free agency:
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