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Dwight Howard wants out of Orlando because they didn’t let him run the team badly

Dec 12, 2011, 8:00 AM EDT

Dwight Howard AP

See, here’s my problem.

Carmelo Anthony had it right. For all his ego, for all the manipulation, for holding the Nuggets and the news cycle hostage for six months, he had it right. It was quiet. He never committed to the Nuggets, kept it quiet, didn’t make it worse. Melo knows it’s a business and acted as such. Anthony was cold, calculating, and brutal in his decision making.

Dwight Howard wants you to like him. It’s not enough that he plays basketball better than all but about maybe two people on Earth, he has to be loved. And as abandoning the franchise that has repeatedly gone into the luxury tax, and gone to the voters to get you a new arena is typically frowned upon, Dwight is doing the whole big long act. There’s a whole speech you’re supposed to give, about how much you love the city and the fans, about how hard it is for you. None of this ever stops the departure, mind you, it always happens along the same timeline.

But Dwight’s a little different in one way. He’s not blaming it on business, or his heart, or wanting to win. No, no. He’s doing it because he didn’t get to play general manager. From ESPN:

Dwight Howards trade demand from the Orlando Magic is due in part to the organization not granting his requests for specific trades and signings over the last several years, the All-Star center said Sunday night.

Howard requested a trade during several meetings last week and has been given permission by the Magic to have contact with the New Jersey Nets, Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Mavericks. He went public with the demand Saturday and then followed that up with a strong explanation Sunday, referring to an eroding relationship with Magic general manager Otis Smith.

“If you dont have a good relationship with the people you work with, how are you going to get better?”– Dwight Howard”Im pretty sure if you go down the line of teams, every GM has a pretty good relationship with not just the best player but all the players,” Howard said. “If you dont have a good relationship with the people you work with, how are you going to get better?”

via Dwight Howard of Orlando Magic cites poor relationship with GM as reason for trade demand – ESPN.

To be fair, Howard pretty explicitly said he didn’t want to be the GM.

“I’m not a GM, I never said I wanted to be a GM,” Howard said.

“What I said was I want to be involved. Everybody has a right to be involved. … I should want to be involved. I should want to say ‘hey, this is what we need, this is what we need to do.’ If I didn’t care, I wouldn’t have said anything. Obviously I care enough about this team that I’ve asked them and I want to be involved. If you don’t like something, you’d just walk away. If you want to be involved you’d do anything you can. If you don’t get it, what do you do?”

via Dwight Howard of Orlando Magic cites poor relationship with GM as reason for trade demand – ESPN.

One slight problem.

Dwight Howard’s input is pretty well worthless.

It’s not really his fault. It’s hard to really be up on analyzing player trends, thinking of the total team concept, working on scouting and statistical analysis when you’re dunking the bejesus out of people. And yet multiple reports have indicated Howard was upset with the amnesty clause being used on Gilbert Arenas. Reports indicated Howard was upset at the trade of Rashard Lewis. In short, this comes across as Howard wanting to bring his friends in, and being upset when management wanted to manage, and wanted their player to play.

It’s one thing for stars to be consulted on deals, to be made aware of decisions. But there’s a big gap between that and having influence. Howard has his own agenda, he’s always had his own agenda, and it involves commercial appeal. And that’s great! He’s a genuinely funny, lovable guy. But don’t lie to the fans, don’t lie to the media, and don’t lie to yourself. Melo played it cold, because that’s what the situation required. Howard trying to play the victim is like someone being upset they got a paper cut while causing a car wreck.

If you’re going to blow the tracks, don’t blame the conductor.

  1. sterko - Dec 12, 2011 at 9:41 AM

    Clip it, Hang it, Klitch it!

    Get a Klitch!

  2. stoutfiles - Dec 12, 2011 at 9:52 AM

    Happy players make good players. On paper, trading Perkins out of Boston wasn’t a huge deal, but it destroyed the team doing so.

    I’ve got nothing against playing Moneyball, but players that like each other and work together are more likely to succeed. Dwight’s input on players would have been useful…now they’re going back to the cellar again. Maybe the GM wants to validate his existence by saying the players are too stupid to have any input.

  3. teke184 - Dec 12, 2011 at 10:09 AM

    “Dwight’s input on players would have been useful”

    Considering that his input leaked as of now is “He was upset that Rashard Lewis got shipped out to Washington and that Arenas got waived under the amnesty”, then I’d say it was less than useless.

    This isn’t MLB, where free-spending owners can buy up any free agents they want or trade a few young prospects for a player who has a severely inflated contract that other teams want to dump.

  4. robertjamis - Dec 12, 2011 at 10:33 AM

    This drives me nuts. Jason Kidd pulled this with the Nets. In order to resign, he forced the Nets to go out and get Alonzo Mourning, post kidney disease, and sign him to a 4 year, 20m deal, which was absurd at the time. The players don’t seem to get that there’s a good reason why their beloved teammates are so available- more often than not, they’re headaches.

    Hopefully, teams begin focusing more on maturity and character, and start compiling winning rosters that lead the players to trust the competency of the GM’s. Oh wait, this is the NBA, right? Crap.

  5. gpatrick15 - Dec 12, 2011 at 10:36 AM

    I felt Dwight’s input would be better than Otis Smith’s until I got to the part that said Dwight was angry that Gilbert Arenas and Rashard Lewis were gone. Regardless, they should at least consult with him to see what moves they’d like to make in addition to which ones he’d like to see happen. A happy superstar is a productive superstar. The Magic had no shot at keeping D12 th emoment they took on Turkoglu’s contract, the same contract they refused to pay him the year prior. I don’t understand Otis Smith’s logic. They purposely hamstrung their payroll by making these stupid personnell moves. Jameer Nelson and Hedo Turkoglu can no longer be the 2nd and 3rd best options behind Dwight.

    Also, Dwight should have kept his mouth shut. But some people just [i]have[/i] to be liked by everyone. Whoever his advisors are should have told him not to air his grievances out to the media. True or not, that conversation should have stayed in house.

    • stoutfiles - Dec 12, 2011 at 12:12 PM

      The same Hedo who, with Howard and Lewis, had a shot at winning the Finals?

      The only reason they traded Lewis was a desperate move to please Dwight, but we find out now that Dwight wasn’t on board with it? Huh? You can’t use Dwight as an excuse for bad moves if he’s not even part of the decision process!

      It’s all moot now though, they won’t get anywhere close to Dwight’s value with a trade. Their only hope was keeping him, and they couldn’t even be bothered to talk to him about what he wanted.

      • gpatrick15 - Dec 12, 2011 at 12:45 PM

        I understand his perceived value, but when Hedo left he apparently fell off a cliff between toronto and Phoenix. He came back with diminished skills and a big contract. Rashard Lewis was never worth the deal he got, and declined after they reached the finals. All they had to do was slide him to the 3, rather than pretend he’s a PF.

        Look, I get that in 09 they made the finals with Nelson, Courtney Lee, Hedo, Lewis, and Dwight, but they were overmatched and exposed in the Finals. Just because by chance they made it there doesn’t mean those players were worth the money they were being paid. The main reason thet got there anyway was because the Celtics and Cavs struggled guarding Dwight.

  6. bcjim - Dec 12, 2011 at 10:37 AM

    I wish they had kept Lewis too. He hasn’t done d&%$ here in DC. But they did take Gilbert, so I guess it wasnt all bad.

    The fact that Howard apparently wanted two pices of dead weight to play with is all I need to know about his “GM-ing” abilities.

  7. tampajoey - Dec 12, 2011 at 10:58 AM

    “this comes across as Howard wanting to bring his friends in”

    Thanks Lebron and Wade for starting that crap. The NBA is a complete joke anymore. Friends teaming up to create super-teams in big market cities to feed their own huge ego. It’s no wonder Dan Gilbert and Mark Cuban are crazy having to deal with these clown players!

    Watching the NFL games this weekend and seeing more BS officiating like the London Fletcher hit on Tom Brady call and the Lions getting away with the facemask penalty on QB Joe Webb that gave the game to Detroit; I’m believing the NBA and NFL are both filled with league infused bias to achieve the league’s own agenda.

    The NBA and NFL BS DRAMA is hard to stomach after watching UFC 140 on Saturday night. Anybody that watched the Jon Jones vs Machida and Frank Mir vs Nogueira fights would agree!

  8. sguy2130 - Dec 12, 2011 at 11:50 AM

    It sounds like Howard was the guy who wanted Gilbert Arenas in the first place. Now that the Magic are getting rid of a terrible mistake…he is upset. Sounds like Otis Smith listened to Howard TOO OFTEN. These players are way too entitled.

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