Dwight Howard wants to be traded! That’s the word, according to reports: Howard will request a trade from the Orlando Magic this summer.
Here we go again.
Howard’s constant antics make you wonder: is he even worth it? Sure, he is the most talented center in the NBA. He is a dominant post player and the league’s best defender. But his behavior is threatening to cripple the Magic franchise. Is that something any other team should willingly bring onto itself?
Once upon a time, Dwight Howard was a special young player any franchise would want as their centerpiece. He was a tireless worker, the best, toughest defender in basketball, and the leader of an Orlando Magic team that seemed poised to break through to an NBA title. Phil Jackson, the greatest NBA coach of all time, said he would start his dream team with Howard.
The statistics are still there but the hard working mystique is going; replaced by embarrassing behavior and distraction. Howard has changed: the player who selflessly led the Magic and said, quite forcefully, that he did not want to be “like Shaq” and leave Orlando in the lurch is gone. He has been replaced by a player who is still a magnificent on-court talent but who brings so much baggage that many contending teams should shy away from welcoming him into their locker rooms.
Take the Chicago Bulls, for example. Chicago is the perfect on-court fit for Howard: he would pair beautifully with Bulls point guard Derrick Rose and dominate the paint inside next to power forward Carlos Boozer. But Howard has shown serious misgivings about going to Chicago. He could change his mind after a trade, as he has on the Magic numerous times this year, and demand another trade. He could mentally check out; playing well while simultaneously mailing it in competitively.
There is no place for that kind of behavior on a championship team.
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