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Dwight Howard and the definition of insanity

Jan 1, 2011, 1:02 PM EDT

NBA: Orlando Magic at Los Angeles Clippers

You’ve all heard Albert Einstein’s definition of insanity. “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

Well, guess what? Dwight Howard is completely nuts.

For whatever reason, Howard keeps toying with technical fouls, keeps drawing the ire of the officials, then complaining about it. Like that’s going to solve the problem. He’s four techs away from a suspension, and he says that once he hits the threshold, he’ll stop. Just like that. Except that he’s setting a precedent now. He’s actually encouraging the officials to continue this behavior, not pushing them to reconsider.

Think of it this way. You’re in charge of a large office’s policies and procedures compliance. Your job is to make sure everyone uses the same fonts, dresses in an appropriate manner, doesn’t indulge in unprofessional behavior. It’s a drag, but it’s a business and that’s how the business has decided to run itself. Now someone comes in and every single day they are doing something. Yelling a curse word int he lunch room. Wearing flip flops and board shorts. (“Board shorts? Really?”) Taking other people’s food from the refrigerator. Using Comic Sans. (Hello, Dan Gilbert!) And you keep firing off reprimands and warnings. They’re four violations away from a suspension without pay. And this is the second year they’ve been in this position! But every time you reprimand them, instead of saying “I’ll work on it” and trying to improve their behavior, they instead complain to their coworkers, on message boards, and their supervisor tells everyone that you have it out for that worker. Are you going to somehow change how you act, or are you going to take an even harder line with him?

That’s Dwight Howard. Continually doing the same thing over and over again, then getting mad when the same consequences befall him, then getting upset when the pattern continues itself, without any adjustments on his part.

What’s sad is that this doesn’t take much to correct. The officials aren’t going to bag him if he just doesn’t react to fouls. If he started raising his hand once in a while and saying “Yeah, I got him” or simply not complaining when he’s hammered down low (and he does get hammered without a call,that’s true), they’d probably start behaving differently. That would break the pattern for the officials. But instead, Howard reinforces it and just gets more upset. This isn’t rocket science, but Howard is treating it that way.

  1. Brian Serra - Jan 4, 2011 at 12:36 PM

    Really? We are comparing someone following an office policy to the emotional intensity of professional sports?

    • Brian Serra - Jan 4, 2011 at 12:38 PM

      With that being said. Yes, it’s getting old. I can only be a Howard-apologist for so long before I fall into the insanity boat myself.

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