Dwight Howard will forever be associated with the Orlando Magic whether he wants to be or not. Unfortunately for him, that association isn’t totally a positive one. Despite being Orlando’s No. 1 overall pick and holder of many franchise records, the drama filled “Dwightmare” that surrounded his exit ruined his good standing with fans in Orlando and across the nation. Everyone became sick of hearing about what Howard thought or where he might head next.
A horrible stint in Los Angeles and another drama filled exit in Houston, sealed Howard’s fate for his career and sent one of the NBA’s best players on a shocking downfall. He’s spent the rest of his career bouncing around from place to place and seeking out redemption. So far, in his return to the Lakers, he’s finding it. He’s playing well and earning adoration from fans and local media, but that’s not the case everywhere. Tania Ganguli of the Los Angeles Times wrote about how Howard is still a villain in Orlando, and Howard was asked if he still feels the same bitter feelings towards his former home.
“I was super bitter at a lot of the things that transpired behind closed doors that none of the Magic fans or people really know about,” Howard said. “I never said anything about it. I never bashed or talked anything bad about this team. But I did have a lot of bitterness in my heart towards the organization and even the fans of how they treated me when I came back. But I let it go.
“I was super bitter, but I let it go. And by letting it go, it just dropped all the weight that I had and it just made me a better person.”
You do have to wonder what Howard means by comments that were made behind closed doors, but most players that leave a situation bitter make these kinds of comments. When a situation doesn’t end in cleanly there’s going to be resentment. There’s nothing wrong with those feelings initially, but eventually, they have to go away.
Acceptance of a situation is the best way to move forward and this is how Howard has chosen to approach the rest of his career. There’s no reason to stay bitter towards a city that he hasn’t played for now in eight years. This isn’t really a time heals all wounds situation, but more of time has forced everyone to move on. The majority of the Magic organization is different from when he left. The players are completely different. Howard moving on is best for him.