And so, surprise surprise, less than four months after waiving his opt-out clause, Dwight Howard has resurrected his trade demands, thus giving false hope to scores of delusional Chicago Bulls fans who still want D12 paired with D-Rose in the Windy City.
"There's only one team (Brooklyn) on my list and if I don't get traded there, I'll play the season out and explore my free agency after that," Howard told Yahoo! Sports earlier this week, before the Nets pulled off a blockbuster trade for Joe Johnson and enticed Deron Williams to stay in Brooklyn with a 5-year, $100 million extension.
So there's still a chance, Chicago's D-12 fans will say. If he can't play for the Nets, maybe he'll want to play here, they'll fervently pray with crossed fingers, or maybe we can work out a trade or sign him as a free agent.
There will be no rumor, no scenario too wacky to keep my misguided brethren from hoping, praying, believing. One prominent Bulls blogger has already posted that the Bulls should trade Luol Deng and Joakim Noah straight up for Howard…even if Howard won't agree to an extension (now that's delusional).
But here's the deal, folks: It's not happening now, it's not happening ever. Period. Chicago is not on Howard's list of teams and never has been; in fact, ESPN's J.A. Adande says Howard specifically said he will not go to Chicago or Atlanta (it's near the end of the video).
For Pete's sakes, people, forget about Howard and move on. Like I've said all along, the Bulls are better off without him. After all, Howard…
- Is obviously not a team-first kind of guy, unlike the entire Bulls' roster;
- Has shown a willingness to throw his teammates, coach and even general manager under the bus if it suits him (the video is hilarious);
- Clearly doesn't want to play second fiddle to D-Rose;
- Will expect input into management decisions, which the Bulls wouldn't be eager to do;
- Has made LeBron's "The Decision" look like a public relations masterpiece;
- Is more concerned about his next Adidis contract than his game, team or winning;
- Has no offense outside of 5 feet;
- Can't shoot free throws;
- Is as immature on the floor as he is off, resulting in a plethora of technical fouls;
- Has a herniated disk, which can be quite serious long-term.
Frankly, I'm stunned so many Bulls fans wanted to dismantle the team for Howard, and I'm further stunned that, after all they've seen the past few months, they're still interested in acquiring the enigmatic center. I can tell you one thing - all the waffling, demands to have the coach fired, etcetera, will not impress Bulls management, a rather conservative bunch that simply would not tolerate some of the shenanigans Howard has pulled.
Sure, Howard is a great, great player - an All-Star and three time defensive player of the year, he can dominate games - but from what I've seen, he'd be way more trouble than he's worth.
Other Chicago Bulls coverage by this contributor:
Chicago Bulls Finally Get a Shot at Courtney Lee: A Fan's View (July 4)
YCN featured sports contributor Steve Merritt is - for better or worse - a lifelong Chicago Bulls, Bears and Cubs fan. He's followed the Bulls since 1969, when he tuned in after bedtime on a cheap dime store radio tucked under his pillow.