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Dwight Howard rips Magic after ugly loss to Kings

Feb 24, 2011, 12:18 PM EST

Orlando Magic v Chicago Bulls Getty Images

I’m not sure what the low point of the season will be for the Orlando Magic will be, this may be like the LOST island where every time something impossible happens you think it can’t get crazier. Then you’re proven wrong. And Hurley becomes the voice of reason.

But the Wednesday night Magic loss to the Kings has to be pretty close to the bottom. The Kings, without Tyreke Evans, on the second night of a back-to-back, come in to Orlando and win. The night after the Heat toyed with them, got bored fast and still ran away with the win.

All that set Dwight Howard off after the game, as reported by the Orlando Sentinel.

“I’ve said everything there is to say,” said Howard, sitting dejectedly in front of his lockers with a semi-circle of reporters around him. “That’s it. I’ve talked every timeout, when we’re in the huddle, in the locker room… What, you want me to Tweet about it? I’ve done everything I’m supposed to do as a leader….”

“If guys don’t want to play, they’ve got to sit down,” Howard said. “We just can’t have guys or anybody out there not playing hard.”

“Everybody on the team has to step up and play hard,” he said. “I’m not singling anybody out; I’m not calling anybody out. But as a team, if we don’t play hard we’re going to lose every night….

“We have a lot of talent, but talent will not get you a championship,” Howard said. “We’re one of the most talented teams in the NBA. We’re a deep team. We’ve got guys who can do a lot of different things. But if we don’t bring it every night, it’s a waste of talent.”

He’s right about this — the Magic played without energy, did not respect the Kings, never got focused and paid the price. Howard had 31 and 17 and was a force. Hedo Turkoglu had a good game. J.J. Redick had the effort but his shot was not falling. Jameer Nelson was okay. After that the effort was lacking.

Howard is wrong about something though — he thinks this team has the talent to win an NBA title if they just played hard. No, they really don’t. They are good, but not elite. Stan Van Gundy uses Hedo Turkoglu better than any coach in the league, he puts him in good positions as a pick-and-roll ball handler, but Turkoglu is average. Gilbert Arenas is average at best. Those are two guys the Magic gave up a lot for, two guys with massive contracts that limit what the Magic can do for years to come, and they are not guys who make your team elite.

Which is to say, the Magic should not be losing to the Kings at home. But this is not as good a team as we thought, mid-season moves weakened them and things are not going to get better soon.

  1. chargerdillon - Feb 24, 2011 at 1:33 PM

    Dwight…just a few years away from playing with Kobe

    You’ll be able to take over the helm as the main attraction in LA with Kobe being the best facilitator the way he was when he was young and Shaq and the big shot.

    For the BS you deal with now, you’ll probably have 3 rings on your finger after your time in LA.

    Patience is key

  2. MTArider - Feb 24, 2011 at 2:14 PM

    Superman belongs in NYC. Dont go to LA and forever be known as Shaq part 2. Super talented big man, loves Superman, plays for the Magic….goes to the Lakers? Come play in NY next to Amare and Melo and become a GOD!

    • ibejeph - Feb 24, 2011 at 3:08 PM

      Or, you know, go to the team with a great owner, winning history and the championship pedigree. That team would be the Lakers.

    • hnirobert3 - Feb 24, 2011 at 3:55 PM

      Do you really think Howard is going to take less $$$ than Amar’e and Melo? Pretty sure the Knicks need a PG more than a dominant C. Amar’e and and Howard would get in their own ways too much.

      There’s more of a chance he goes to the Nets than Knicks.

  3. passerby23 - Feb 24, 2011 at 2:34 PM

    I agree, Dwight belongs in New York. That becomes a dominant frontline. They can restructure the contracts of Amar’e and Melo to make it work and add a piece or two. That’s a serious offensive juggernaut.

    The Lakers window is one or two years. They’re getting old. The Knicks window is open for several more years. Best money is on NY.

    • Kurt Helin - Feb 24, 2011 at 4:28 PM

      For the record, unless this changes in the new CBA, you cannot restructure any NBA deals once signed. They do it in football, not the NBA.

  4. wordplaywordplay - Feb 24, 2011 at 3:44 PM

    Or, sign with OKC and get a ring for every finger. His call…

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