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Dwight Howard blasts teammates for lack of effort after blowout loss to Hornets

Jan 28, 2012, 4:00 PM EDT

Dwight Howard AP

The wheels are starting to come off in Orlando.

Just one night after blowing a 27-point lead at home in a loss to the Celtics, the Magic pulled a complete no-show in New Orleans, and were blown out 93-67 by a Hornets team that entered the game just 3-15 on the season.

That effort (or rather, lack thereof) didn’t sit well with Dwight Howard, as he explained to reporters afterward (via the Orlando Sentinel):

“Looked like guys didn’t want to play,” he said. “I told them at halftime, if you don’t want to play, just stay in the lockerroom. It doesn’t make sense for a teams we should beat to just demolish us.

“You bring everything down,” Howard said, referring to a player who isn’t playing with heart and soul.

“It hurts me to get out there and play your hardest. I expect everybody to play the same. I’m not calling anybody out by no means because we all have to get better … but if you don’t want to be out there, don’t dress up.

“If you don’t want to play, stay home. People work too hard. I want to win a championship. I work too hard every night for anybody to not want to go out there and play hard. … None of the — whatever, trade stuff — none of that stuff matters. Play basketball. That’s why we all get paid to do this, because we love the game and it’s basketball, so why not give it your all.”

The “trade stuff,” as Howard put it — referring to his impending free agency this summer and the fact that the team has already explored options to deal him earlier this season — absolutely matters. If his teammates know Howard doesn’t want to be there long-term, and that the team may be blown up at any point this season to make that happen, it matters. It’s a distraction, and it’s not going to go away until the season is over, or until a deal gets done.

But Howard’s right — it is fairly ridiculous for any players at this level not to compete on a nightly basis, and a hangover from giving away the game against Boston the previous night is no excuse. Being the team’s best player, he has every right to call out the collective for not bringing the effort.

The only problem is, with Howard’s eventual departure being a likely matter of when and not if, his teammates probably aren’t listening.

  1. captainwisdom8888 - Jan 28, 2012 at 4:09 PM

    Please come to Philadelphia.

    • sasquash20 - Jan 28, 2012 at 6:04 PM

      We hustle harder then any team in the league bro. D.Collins doesn’t play you if you dog it.

  2. knicks4life - Jan 28, 2012 at 4:22 PM

    Trade Carmelo Anthony and josh harrelson for superman

    • sasquash20 - Jan 28, 2012 at 6:06 PM

      You would have to give up T.Chandler to get him and I still don’t think he would want to play with super dog Melo.

  3. knicks4life - Jan 28, 2012 at 4:23 PM

    NYC

  4. Gordon - Jan 28, 2012 at 4:37 PM

    Just shut up already Dwight.

    • LilTmac2003 - Jan 29, 2012 at 2:23 AM

      I’m with you on this one man.

      Dwight is a beast, don’t get me wrong, but it’s just getting more and more clear that he won’t be with the Magic next season.

      I think with all this complaining, all this trade talk, all the requests to teams, he’s trying to protect his image saying Orlando is the one who isn’t going enough.

      I get that he’s angry, he has every right to be. Being up by a kabillion and losing to Boston, and than getting owned by a team that they should easily beat can take a toll on a person. But at this current time and Dwight’s current situation, it’s not helping his image at all.

      • opiedawg - Jan 30, 2012 at 9:28 PM

        Maybe his teammates should call him out for costing them game after game with his pathetic free throw shooting. All it would take is 70% from the line to make him the most unstoppable player in the NBA. There’s something HE can do to get his team to a championship.

  5. thethruth34 - Jan 28, 2012 at 4:44 PM

    Bean town will be a great town for u Dwight

  6. bosshogg3 - Jan 28, 2012 at 5:39 PM

    Why does he cry after every loss.we know he doesn’t want to be there why can’t he shut up and play the season out.I’m tired of hearing him say I’ll play here or there or how everyone in Orlando sucks but him.

  7. b7p19 - Jan 28, 2012 at 5:55 PM

    Please go somewhere in the western conference. Why do the all the teams in the Sixers division have to be the “likely suitors” of Howard? GO TO LA!

  8. bknowledge - Jan 28, 2012 at 8:25 PM

    Tyson and Carmelo for Dwight and Jameer

  9. goforthanddie - Jan 28, 2012 at 8:53 PM

    ““You bring everything down,” Howard said, referring to a player who isn’t playing with heart and soul.”

    You mean like a player who’s already publicly demanded to be traded? Someone who’s now running their yap to speed that process up?

    Congrats Dwight, you have officially entered leb territory, you hypocritical turd.

    • kinggw - Jan 28, 2012 at 10:53 PM

      Lebron territory, when exactly did Lebron demand a trade while he was in Cleveland? You hate on him so much it clouds your memory.

      • goforthanddie - Jan 28, 2012 at 11:23 PM

        I’m referring to the stupidity that flows forth from his mouth.
        And for the record, leb demanding a trade would have been classier than what he did, as well as more beneficial to the team/city/state that used to adore him.

    • mrsdestinydevine - Jan 30, 2012 at 9:22 AM

      You must be a Cleveland fan. Ok, let me make it plain to ALL CLEVELAND FANS, the NBA is a BUSINESS! A PLAYER HAS EVERY RIGHT TO GO WHERE THEY WANT TO GO AND PLAY!!! Jeesh get over it!

  10. bmorehomeofthewire - Jan 28, 2012 at 9:35 PM

    Dwight knows he leaving. Now he has an excuse…..

  11. cubs103years - Jan 28, 2012 at 10:10 PM

    Bucks need a center. Give up bogut Jackson 2rder and welcom to Milwaukee

  12. glink123 - Jan 29, 2012 at 2:18 AM

    Howard is irrelevant. He’s nobody.

  13. jkidd25 - Jan 29, 2012 at 2:45 AM

    The Lake Show needs you D.

  14. damp1015 - Jan 29, 2012 at 3:44 AM

    Dwight needs to say what should be said. At least out of all the players wanting to leave (Melo & Lebron) he is straight up. He told the Magic they need to fix things, he asked for certain players to help win a Championship. Who else has done that?

    Dwight is a beast; no one can really match up on him. I would like him to go to the Knicks(NYK ALL DAY) for Melo and Chandler but I know he probably won’t. But whatever team he goes to, he will make them that much better.

    And he wasn’t wrong for calling people out. This is the reason why he wants to leave, his team is not going hard at it.

    • somekat - Jan 31, 2012 at 1:32 PM

      They got the guys he wanted (Arenas, Carter, etc), those players sucked. Now he wants to leave, because they sucks, and that makes him better?

  15. johnnygsnake - Jan 29, 2012 at 9:21 AM

    Dwight you do what is best for you and screw everybody else you only live once !!!!!

  16. ferhatiggy - Jan 29, 2012 at 11:16 AM

    who is d-12?Ok he is the one among the centres of the league,but he shouldn’t complain about the mates.Don’t cry D-12,you are still babby.

  17. kjt929 - Jan 29, 2012 at 11:49 AM

    Just shut up Dewight

  18. mnsadsportsfan - Jan 29, 2012 at 12:25 PM

    yawn

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