So let’s say you’re Dwight Howard. You’re stuck in no man’s land, having destroyed your reputation almost beyond repair – seriously, will anyone look at the big man the same way again? This Dwightmare will follow him for the rest of his career. At least The Decision was a one-time deal – and you might actually have to suit up with the Orlando Magic come Halloween. If you needed a recipe for “How to create a PR disaster” then seeing Howard and the Magic trying to work out this marriage through the first half of 2012-13 will be it. How Orlando hasn’t moved on yet, we have no clue. There’s one rule that goes with trading superstars in the NBA, and it’s this: you never get equal value. Holding out only makes it worse. Of course, vindictive fans will say, “Screw Dwight Howard. Don’t trade him to his favorite team.” But this is business, and in business, emotions kill. First, the Magic turned down Brooklyn often enough that the Nets told them to hit the bricks. Then, they dismissed the Lakers, and even Houston, just as easily. In a face-to-face meeting with Orlando GM Rob Hennigan yesterday, Howard stood firm in his desire to leave Disney World. He’s still willing to think about re-signing in L.A. if he’s traded there, but absolutely won’t in Houston. And, as Adrian Wojnarowski reports, if he does make it to free agency next year having played all year with Orlando, he will almost assuredly go to Dallas. Yeah… because THAT makes sense: go to a team who’s best player will be 35 years old by then, surrounded by a bunch of Jameer Nelsons and Hedo Turkoglus … Why is Hennigan still trying to make this work? Howard probably spent that entire face-to-face sitdown talking in his impersonation voices … Now that summer league is over, who stood out for you? We recently took our five who we think will make immediate impacts next season in the league. Everyone sees Damian Lillard as a likely Rookie of the Year candidate, and based off their play in summer league, Harrison Barnes, Bradley Beal and Jeremy Lamb all showed they should be very good wing scorers. But putting too much emphasis on summer league always turns out to be deadly, even if a few of these guys look like they could be on this list as future potential All-Stars by next summer … And Cleveland picked up Jeremy Pargo, cash and a 2014 second-round draft pick in a trade by sending D.J. Kennedy to Memphis. Look out. We can feel the balance of power in the East shifting on that one … One move that could actually pay dividends? Delonte West is going back to Dallas … Keep reading to hear about all the weight Kobe has lost …
Andrei Kirilenko said he’d make his decision fast, and he has. He’ll be spurning Brooklyn, Mikhail Prokhorov, 24/7 Russian bodyguards and his owner’s daily buffet lines of women for… snow. Yep, he’s going to Minnesota, which we wrote yesterday was a strong possibility. Why? Well for one, he’s pretty much guaranteed a starting spot since the Wolves have a group of swingmen who couldn’t shoot their way through a H.O.R.S.E. game. Kirilenko isn’t exactly a dead-eye marksman either, but he has qualities the team needs if it wants to make a push at the playoffs. Plus, the two years and $20 million KAAAAHNNNNN is going to throw his way isn’t bad either. Minnesota pulled it off by clearing enough cap space in an earlier day yesterday. They will be dealing Wesley Johnson and a future first-round pick to Phoenix, who will trade Robin Lopez and Hakim Warrick to the Hornets. In return, the Wolves get Jerome Dyson and Brad Miller‘s retiring $5.1 million. David Kahn deserves some respect for getting creative and landing the man with the best tattoo in the NBA. He’s gone from grabbing every point guard he could to going after every available white player. The T-Wolves are becoming the Limp Bizkit of the NBA … Whether or not you believe Charles Barkley is better than Karl Malone (and opinions on Malone seem to have changed for the worse over the years since he retired), it sure would be awesome to see them go at it one-on-one. Barkley, ever the loud mouth, says it’s not a debate. He told SI.com he was always better because he never needed a John Stockton to help him out. As Jack McCallum points out, the two are great friends, so the egotistical criticism comes across as more of a ribbing than just pure jealously. And Barkley continues by saying he’s one of the 20 best players of all time. We’ve had this debate before, and the results were predictably 50-50. These are two of the greatest power forwards of all time, and both played the game with a reckless abandon that regularly turned three or four defenders a season into origami cranes. The camp in Charles’ corner might be louder because everything revolving around Sir Mouth is loud. But Malone’s camp has just as many darts to throw … And apparently, Kobe Bryant lost 16 pounds for the Olympics. If he keeps losing weight, some foreign guy in the Olympics might think he’s actually the Kobe beef, and rip a piece off his arm. He also says he loves the aging process (even the gray hairs, and the fact that most of his hair won’t grow back anyways) because it’s a challenge to adjust how you play, and what you eat in order to stay on top. ONLY Kobe would say something like that … We’re out like Gilbert Arenas‘ mansion.
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