Dwight Howard led the Orlando Magic to the NBA Finals just three years and three months ago. He made the team a viable championship candidate for years, won three Defensive Player of the Year awards on the franchise's watch, while observing as former GM Otis Smith frittered away the impact of his brilliance with a litany of terrible personnel moves. He was well in his right to want the heck out of Orlando once the misery that was the 2010-11 season ended, a campaign that saw Smith attempting to recover from the moves-after-the-moves-after-the-moves that made it so Howard and Jameer Nelson (players that Smith did not draft) were working against the tide to make it back to those Finals.
Yet, in a miserable bit of self-aggrandizement, tactlessness, obliviousness and incompetence that in comparison made Smith look like the NBA executive of the decade, Howard blew any goodwill he had from outsiders that understood that his best years would probably be best spent away from Orlando. Dwight was traded from Orlando to the Los Angeles Lakers early in August, just a few days after cowardly begging off an appearance at his own youth camp so as not to face the sort of pointed questions that only an 11-year old in high tops could nail him with.
On Sunday, nearly a month after he was dealt to Los Angeles, he took out a full-page advertisement in the Orlando Sentinel, thanking the fans that got to be a part of whatever the heck he brought from 2004 to 2011 and (kind of) 2012.
The full ad follows the jump: