Orlando Magic center and free-agent-to-be Dwight Howard has been putting together yet another great season as the NBA’s best big man. But he’s also been setting a new standard for terrible PR decisions as he greases his way out of Orlando a little more each day. While he certainly hasn’t hit “The Decision” status yet, Howard is certainly busting his ass in trying.
It was simple enough at the beginning, as Howard only needed to cite the horrible job Otis Smith has done as GM, and most people would have said, “Ah yeah, dude’s got a point.” Instead, after asking for a trade, Howard claimed he needed to be surrounded with players who could help him win a championship, which didn’t win him any points with his current teammates. Then, after a horrific 4-game losing streak in which the Magic set new lows in franchise scoring, Howard threw his teammates under the bus again, while claiming his trade demand wasn’t hurting the team.
And even though the Magic have bounced back to win 5 of their last 7, including a huge victory over the Miami Heat, Howard is still pulling hissy fits out of his butt.
“I want to become a closer. The only way you get there is by getting the ball and have coach have the confidence in giving me the ball.
“That’s how Kobe (Bryant) and the rest of the great fourth-quarter players got that way. It’s trial and error. When Kobe first got in the league, it took him a while to become the killer he is in the fourth quarter now. That’s because he went through that phase where he had to learn what shots to take and just get confidence in taking shots in the fourth quarter.
“That’s one thing that I want for myself, so I can become the guy who finishes games for my team. I want to be that guy whose team wants him to close games out for them. Coach just needs to have confidence in me.” (Via Fox Sports Wisconsin and Pro Basketball Talk)
That’s right, the guy with no mid-range shot and a mediocre hook shot at best is blaming Stan Van Gundy for not giving him the ball more down low in the 4th quarter. Makes perfect sense.
Sure, teams are going to hack Howard every time he touches the ball and send him to the line. Sure, he’s going to miss the majority of his free throws, even though he doesn’t think that’s a problem. He wants to be like Kobe Bryant, who has the actual ability to shoot long-range daggers, and that’s not ridiculous at all.
Good luck, whatever team eventually lands Howard. Because I’m pretty sure that he can’t do this…