The Dwight Howard solution
The ultimate in NBA player indecision continues to play out for Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic. The rumors of deals and trades and sign-and-trades have gone on for what seems like a year and a half. Numerous other players and teams have made moves and decisions. Roster and franchise defining moves. Atlanta, Brooklyn and the LA Lakers to name a few. Talents the likes of Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and Steve Nash have all moved on and found a way to cooperate with their old/new teams. On the opposite end of this spectrum is Dwight Howard.
This is the best I can tell what all has been going on amid the speculation and rumor and threats. Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic have found a way to permanently effect a Franchise without doing anything. Elite NBA players have been forcing their way out of teams for many years. It’s just the way it has always been. With that is the admission that someone has to be the bad guy. Being a great player and leaving a team behind will always make you a target for hate. It happens every year. It’s the utter refusal to accept this role and the facade presented to us that is making this worse for all involved. That said, I blame Dwight Howard for the unnecessary drama. I believe he has not made one real solid stand on his desire to stay or go. I believe he wants to still be the smiling, lovable big man while still getting his way. I believe his hard line stances on where he can be sent via trade has damaged the Orlando Magic’s ability to negotiate a move for him. I believe his own soundbites damage his pending Free Agency in 2013. This has caused a dynamic where The Orlando Magic and Dwight Howard are currently both not getting what they want. Here is my solution.
MY solution is based on the opinion that Dwight Howard has made it impossible for the Orlando Magic to move him. He obviously does not want to stay. He has made it far more difficult than it should have been to help the Orlando Magic trade him at close to fair value. I propose this to the Orlando Magic. Sit Dwight Howard for the entire 2012-2013 season. Just refuse to play him. I’m no expert on NBA contracts or players union semantics. At the end of the day, Dwight Howard is just one roster spot on the team. Orlando can do with him as they please, in a NBA basketball kind of sense. They don’t have to trade him or play him or bring him along on trips with the team. We all can read between the lines. He doesn’t want to help your team or franchise anymore. He refuses to help aid the moving on process. So, move on without him. I’ve seen this type of situation play out in other sports. Eventually, yes the player will move on. But, why should Orlando help Dwight Howard anymore? Stop trying to trade him. He is going to sign with another team in a year. It sucks not getting anything in return for a Franchise player you took a chance on back in 2004. WE all acknowledge that. But, wouldn’t this be the ultimate way to say you are moving on? The Orlando Magic survived after losing Shaquille O’Neal. They will be around long after Dwight Howard retires. So, take a year from his career that he will never get back again. Because Dwight Howard has taken away 2 NBA seasons from your franchise with all this trade me/I’m staying BS. Last season and this season. Because he was selfish. So, pay him his final year. Tell Dwight to sit at home and watch his teammates represent the city and the organization. And show him for one year that he is not bigger than the NBA or the Orlando Magic.