The toxicity of Dwight Howard doesn’t really seem to have worn off.
On Tuesday, Howard told the Orlando Sentinel that he was actually upset that his No. 12 was being worn by a Magic player. Apparently, it didn’t matter who it was, and it also didn’t matter that the player wearing it, Tobias Harris, reportedly wore the number in honor of a friend who died of leukemia.
It seems as if Howard truly wanted the Magic to never use his old number again. That wasn’t going to happen, and to think that it was can be considered egotistical on a level that, well, can only be seen in the NBA today.
This is just one of several issues Howard has had in the last couple of years. First, of course, there was his insistence that he leave Orlando, in which the Magic, considering Howard’s overall attitude, were more than happy to do. And the four-team trade that eventually landed the center in Los Angeles didn’t hurt Orlando nearly as a much as, say, LA or even the Philadelphia 76ers.
You would have thought a trade to one of the biggest markets in the league would have made him happy. This, apparently, wasn’t the case. And in a first-round NBA playoff series where he could have been the star in place of the injured Kobe Bryant, no such thing happened, and the Lakers were quickly swept out by the San Antonio Spurs.
During free agency, the idea that Howard’s attitude was far overshadowed by his size and athleticism, and can be the only reason why teams courted him to sign with them. The Lakers, despite all their problems with Howard, thought he would re-sign.
That didn’t happen. Howard signed a four-year, $88 million deal with the Houston Rockets. Inexplicably, the Lakers, particularly general manager Mitch Kupchak, were livid at the decision.
Calm down, Mitch. It’s not like he had a one-hour special on ESPN or anything.
For all his talent, Howard has really let his attitude get in the way. He’s already set bridges aflame in two cities. It’s far too early if the same will be true in a third.