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In case you needed it, more proof Dwight’s decision making Wednesday night was absurd

Mar 17, 2012, 2:30 PM EDT

Dwight Howard AP

I’m about to share with you a few paragraphs from a must-read piece on the Dwight Howard debacle of this week by ESPN”s Michael Wallace, and then we’re going to talk about it for a minute.

But 86-year-old Magic owner Rich DeVos confirmed Friday that an 11th-hour conference call he had with Howard on Wednesday night played a role in keeping the league’s best center in Orlando. It was during that call, as the Magic were in San Antonio to play the Spurs, when as many as 17 people were on the line. That group included DeVos’ grandchildren, one as young as age 16, who weighed in on the ordeal.

Orlando’s front-office executives also participated. It was during a 15-minute segment of the call when DeVos finally informed Howard that unless he was willing to stay through next season, he would otherwise be traded in the next few hours.

“I think that’s when he realized,” DeVos, bound to a wheelchair, said of the conversation while sitting in the locker room after Friday’s win. “He wanted to talk to each and every one of us. He talked to everybody in the family. That’s the way he’s always been.”

Howard conceded that the conference call did sway his decision. By the time the Magic’s chartered plane landed in Orlando in the wee hours Thursday, Howard had informed the team he would bypass the early termination option in his contract.

via Conference call made Howard’s decision a dunk – ESPN.

Wait, what?

A 16-year-old is weighing in on a decision that has monstrous impacts on the future of Howard’s life? The Magic are bringing in the owners’ grandkids to talk to Howard about this deal? Did Mickey get to say his peace? When Pinocchio said that Dwight could win a title with Glen Davis and Jason Richardson making that much money, did his nose grow? Is this thing airing on ABC Family or are we going low-budget feature film release?

And he listened! This is his thought process!

Don’t get all bent out of shape on my reaction here. Howard staying is a good thing. Kind of. I like it when players reveal they at least care a little bit about the organizations who have pretty much bent their entire lives backwards for their star players. Howard was genuinely hurt at the perception that he doesn’t care about the Magic organization and the DeVos family. That’s a good thing. He deserves credit for his loyalty.

(Side note: Howard said at his presser, and again after the Magic’s win over the hapless Nets that he’s glad it’s over. What is over, exactly? Dude, you’re still entering free agency, you’re not re-signing the contract, this thing could just go on another year. I understand you think everyone’s going to leave you alone about it now, but, um, unless you sign the extension, that’s not happening.)

My point is just that on top of the back and forth, back and forth, back, then back again nature of his decision making between Wednesday and Thursday, this is how the Magic organization handled it, this is how Dwight chose to handle it. It’s a weird story of family and business overlapping. The more we learn about this process the more it becomes clear this wasn’t about business and sponsorships and jerseys, for Howard or for the DeVos family. This was emotional. The problem is that when you make business decisions from a place of emotion?

That rarely works out well.

  1. drunkenjunk - Mar 17, 2012 at 2:48 PM

    well, whatever works for Orlando I guess. I hope Dwight really didn’t think that by beating Chicago and Miami it means they have any shot at all of doing anything like that in the playoffs. This is the same Orlando team as last year except they have big baby instead of Bass which is worse.

  2. alexb64 - Mar 17, 2012 at 3:17 PM

    I think Dwight could sign an extension with Orlando tomorrow & the media would still be plotting his exit. The entire ordeal was a joke, don’t think I’m not agreeing with that. However a lot of the media folks who were giving their two cents & “anonymous sources tell me Dwight is ABSOLUTELY headed to The Nets” stories seem to have a lot of trouble admitting they had the whole situation dead wrong. I think if he had this Nets plan at all he & his agent would have had no issue with Orlando dealing him as a rental then signing with a non-gutted Nets team in July. I’m sure the speculation will just now shift to Dallas, but it would also be nice of the media that will start harping on that story for the next 12 months to say “Hey sorry for being so utterly full of crap since December.”

    As a fellow small market fan I see it as sign of good things to come & think the people in Orlando can hold on to pretty genuine hope that Dwight’s attachment to the city & organization does mean more than anyone wanted to give him credit for. I think the worries of him pulling a LeBron have been alleviated & Orlando would pretty much have to let Otis Smith continue to do irreparable roster damage or having the team take a page from their Shaq negotiating book to have Dwight just intently leave without any consideration. LeBron was an ex-Cav in the playoffs with the team, that was clear. Dwight’s heart on the opposite seems to be with Orlando.

    • kinggw - Mar 17, 2012 at 6:52 PM

      This story showcases that Howard has the intestinal fortitude of a twelve year old.I know the anti-LeBron media wants to paint the story as loyalty triumphing over the allure of a big city and a new team. Im not buying it.

      If Dwight Howard was truly loyal, he would have kept all trade requests and trade discussions private. He didnt do that. He made his trade list public and essentially dared the Magic to keep him past the trade deadline. My big question is, if he is so loyal, why didnt he sign an extension?

      Lets be clear about one thing. Guilt kept Howard in Orlando for the time being, not loyalty. The media didnt have it wrong about Howard. They had it exactly right, Howard just chickened out when it was time for him to be cold blooded and bid adieu to the Magic. Howard doesnt want to be in Orlando long term, but he isnt man enough to deal with the consequences that forcing your way out brings. He doesnt want to be hated. Unless Orlando somehow sneaks their way back into the Finals, Howard will still look to get out. Chances are this time he will use back channels to get the word out but look for Howard to still be gone this summer.

      • mitchrog - Mar 18, 2012 at 2:00 AM

        wow you must really know Dwight well, or have some insight we all don’t…. good job with suppositions and ….well thats about it….. Dwight doesnt want to be in Orlando long term… gee, next time I need lottery ticket numbers I’m calling you…Tool

  3. prosourcetalk - Mar 17, 2012 at 3:38 PM

    Oh brother…

  4. qdog112 - Mar 17, 2012 at 3:58 PM

    Someone needs to save Howard from himself. After proclaiming that his decision would be a business one, Howard admitted that it came down to emotion. That is just stupid.

  5. murkcity32 - Mar 17, 2012 at 4:18 PM

    no such thing in loyalty in professional sports, its business. den signed nene and talked about how great a person he was then traded him months later to wizards and lakers dumped fisher despite what he has meant. so why can’t players do the same when they fell the team execs aren’t performing? he just needs to decide and stop the back and forth crap

  6. cfroggerton - Mar 17, 2012 at 4:56 PM

    Why does it have to be a business decision? Someone actually using emotions in professional sports is a nice reprieve from the usual in my opinion.

  7. glink123 - Mar 17, 2012 at 5:12 PM

    why is Howard’s decision on where he chooses to work, and for how much money, anybody’s damn business? just because his salary is public information doesn’t give any one of you people to question his reasons. I mean, personally, why anyone is willing to pay someone to manage a blog is still mind-boggling to me. It’s like paying someone to manage the cork board by the vending machine at work.

  8. mikey1977 - Mar 17, 2012 at 5:25 PM

    Don’t hate him for making a emotional decision…Devos genuinely loves his players and his team…so what if Devos’ grandchildren weighed in on the decision? The Magic are a great organization….family oriented….Dwight chose family and loyalty….Dwight is truly loved in Orlando…in New Jersey, New York, or Los Angeles he’d have been treated like a commodity…. A product pushing the media machine….don’t be mad that Dwight chose not to be Lebron….Go Magic!

  9. jlive7319 - Mar 17, 2012 at 5:48 PM

    The only reason why Howard voided the opt out clause was because he knew if he didn’t sign that extension magic was going to trade him. let’s see how loyal the magics are when Howard don’t want to sign the extension next season. they will trade him and Howard will look like the dummy for believing he had power over the magics owner when he voided the clause in his contract. This is a business Howard.

  10. claymatthewsisonsteroids - Mar 17, 2012 at 6:28 PM

    Given that Dwight Howard has the maturity level of a teenager (if even that), it’s not surprising at all…

  11. genericcommenter - Mar 17, 2012 at 7:41 PM

    I think they just had the clarify the downline override bonuses of the Amway compensation plan.

  12. rotaylla - Mar 17, 2012 at 10:10 PM

    Is this a business decision or emotional??? This goes to show you how stupid and dumb Howard is..talking to all members of the family of devos…they know Dwight is emotionally fragile and not mentally strong…The SAGA COTINUES….LMFAO….

  13. ezmagic - Mar 17, 2012 at 10:37 PM

    Haha and out come all the HATERS. You proved the world wrong Dwight. All the media (espn mostly) hates you cause you proved them ALL wrong. Steven A smith is an idiot. He was the one that said in 2004 that the magic would be crazy if they select Dwight as 1st pick..Wrong. Also said Dwight will be in a net uniform by the deadline. Wrong again A$$hole. Go Magic!!! Go Devos family!! Dwight has a bigger heart than most. Orlando made him who he is…

  14. ezmagic - Mar 17, 2012 at 10:45 PM

    Not mentally strong!?!? Have you seen how hard he gets hit every night. You have to be mentally strong not to retaliate after those fouls. I’d be ejected every game. So would most.
    All business decisions have emotions behind it. If you were at a job and got offered another job elsewhere but had many ties to your 1st with co-workers and management. Wouldn’t you think emotion will have weight in your choice?? Dumb A$$es.

  15. ezmagic - Mar 17, 2012 at 10:54 PM

    Plus why play in the hood of NYC with state tax, high cost of living, cold weather. When you can play in warm winters, no state tax, reasonable cost of living, surrounded by 1000’s of beaches only minutes away, half naked women in january, plus a better team. I was at the game last night. Nets are scrubs. Ok I’m done with my rant…

  16. wizahdry - Mar 17, 2012 at 10:56 PM

    I don’t get you people. If he forced the trade then he would be called selfish and another Lebron looking for the easy way to more money and a championship. Now he agrees to stay longer and try again to help HIS team win a championship and now he is a bad business man and too scared and immature to leave.

    I find it refreshing that he is making every effort to win his own championship with his original team and not bolting to another city for a quick buck!

    There used to be a time when superstars had pride in their franchise and wanted to lead it to a championship instead of jumping ship. You didn’t see Jordan, Magic, Bird etc. try to join forces. They stuck it out and kept making themselves and everyone around them better! That’s what makes a legend! There is only so much money or endorsements that is needed to be happy!

  17. mitchrog - Mar 18, 2012 at 1:36 AM

    Moore- you are a plebian… so rather than make a decision based on emotion, he should have made it on, cold, hard facts like cash, or merchandising opts? Last time I checked, the whole point of life is to be happy (also an emotion if your following along) maybe Dwight is just happier in O-town??? nawww, you wouldn’t grasp a man following his heart instead of his wallet, would you? Dwight is what we wish everyone was… honest, forthright and up front. Here’s another thought, if he had left Orlando to follow his dream of having a ring, and this was his honest attempt to meet that goal, I would have wished him well and thanked him for the years of play he gave to the Magic.

  18. ezmagic - Mar 18, 2012 at 2:14 AM

    “I didn’t want to play with the best, I wanted to beat the best” ~ Michael Jordan

  19. mhalt99 - Mar 18, 2012 at 3:47 AM

    2 things….

    1. A 16 year old has more sense than anyone in the Dolan family

    2. If sports didn’t have the emotional impact that they do then we wouldn’t have tons of public money tied up in muni rev bonds and tax breaks for a facility that can be used 8 times a year (12-16 in philly because of temple, 8 times in minn as for some reason they needed two football stadiums next door to each other….why isn’t that one getting built again????)

  20. modellforprez - Mar 18, 2012 at 10:09 AM

    sheesh kabobs how can an underage priviliged kid make decisions for that man.

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