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Maybe now Dwight Howard can learn the value of silence

Aug 10, 2012, 6:05 PM EDT

Miami Heat v Orlando Magic Getty Images

I better not wake up next week and see that Dwight Howard has taken a full-page ad in the Orlando Sentinel. I don’t want to see any grinning image of Howard in a Magic uniform, I don’t want to see any message of how much his time in Orlando meant to him, I don’t want any platitudes of wishing the fans well.

He wrecked a franchise. He wrecked a fanbase. He bailed on the city, and in doing so, ruined their ability to get anything close to a comprehensive package back. He hurt them for a year, forced out a great coach, embarrassed the franchise and the city, and destroyed any leverage they could have had.

And now he’s a Laker. He got what he wanted.

There’s something inherently wrong in how this played out. Carmelo Anthony jacked with the season, held the franchise in limbo, but went about his business. He didn’t reassert his desire over and over again. His agent leaked enough to make his intention clear, but there wasn’t information deliberately leaked from Anthony’s camp to harm their leverage. In fact, Anthony handled it much better than Howard did.

Think about that.

Even LeBron James, hosting teams for meetings in Akron, not telling the Cavaliers, he held them hostage for just two weeks. Then he was gone. It was painful, and outrageous, and should not have been done on national television. But it was nothing compared to what Howard left them with. Which was nothing.

You can blame the Magic all you want, and you have a point. It was Otis Smith’s desperate decision making that lead to the large contracts that limited their cap space. The Magic could have held out for a better, different deal. They could have made the deal a year ago, they could have saved themselves. But Howard could have not forced them to save themselves.

And now he gets everything he wanted, if not exactly what he wanted. He still gets the superstar team. He gets the warm weather (nicer than Brooklyn). He gets the star point guard. He gets the commercial opportunities and television and film opportunities. He gets the money and a chance to re-up with the Lakers for the five-year max deal in 2013. This situation is actually better than what he would have found in Brooklyn.

So  what lesson do we take? We take that you can undermine your coach, demand a trade, constantly hamper and limit your team’s abilities to trade you and get the best possible deal for you, jerk them around for three days then decide to opt-in, getting their hopes up, then immediately demand a trade again, then have your people leak information to damage their ability to get the best deal, and you get everything your heart desires. This isn’t just player power or freedom. This is exploitation of a franchise and its fans.

Stan Van Gundy is one of the best coaches in the league, and he’s gone. Ryan Anderson was maybe their most promising young player, and he’s gone. They made the Finals in 2009, that’s gone. The Magic have been rendered to ash by Howard and his power play. There’s nothing left.

So, no, Howard should not thank the fans. He shouldn’t say anything else. He’s said more than enough for a lifetime, with his words. He said it when he demanded a trade from a team that had done a better job than many of building around their star, from the team that helped develop him into the player he is today. He said it with the way he pressured and conspired with his agent to not only exercise his completely understandable right to leave in free agency, but to be sent where he wanted so he could re-sign for the five-year deal. And he said it when he skipped the kids’ camp this week in Orlando.

No thanks for the thanks, Dwight. You won, now do us all a favor and play basketball so we never have to talk about any of this ugly affair ever again.

  1. 3pointlegend - Aug 10, 2012 at 6:21 PM

    The author of this article hit this 100% on the head. Howard nuked the magic plain and simple. Orlando can attempt to spin this anyway and it still stinks for their fans. I guess next summer another ungrateful brat will hoist the NBA finals trophy. Good riddance D12.

    • cpaulii - Aug 11, 2012 at 1:32 AM

      I know D12 messed up by saying things and then doing the opposite, and the SVG deal, but really? really?
      telling a team that he will not sign w/ them; to trade him is worst than leaving the team on national TV for nothing? and the only reason the old team got something was to accommodate him to get an extra year w/ a sign and trade? 2 first round picks (in the highs 20’s) and 2 second round picks that belonged to OKC for LJames? is that a better trade than what the magic got for D12?

      the magic had a lot to do with what happened too!, they were still trying to keep D12 after he told them that he won’t sign w/ them. The Magic had the opportunity to get better than what they got, D12 for Bynun, the Houston deal, the nets deal and who Knows what else; but they wanted to drop salary and picks. To start from Zero, It was their choice!!

  2. lakerluver - Aug 10, 2012 at 6:38 PM

    Wow, wrecked a franchise, huh? Talking about being melodramatic. Howard made some bad decisions but let’s not paint this guy as some terrible person. He’s not the first player to have an ugly separation from a team, nor will he be the last. As far as SVG is concerned, I agree with you, he “seems” to be a pretty good coach. However, If he’s that good of a coach he shouldn’t have any problem getting another head coaching job. Plenty of good coaches have been fired because the star player wanted them out. Not that Paul Westhead was a very good coach but he lead the LAKERS to a title only to get canned because Magic didn’t like his coaching style. It happens. Could Howard have been more forthcoming and mature in this whole situation? Of course. However, the franchise didn’t handle the situation very well either. Remember, this is the same franchise that let Shaq get away. This is the same franchise that after drafting Shaq got the first overall pick again and didn’t win anything. It seems to me that the franchise was doing a good job of wrecking itself before and after Howard got there.

    • paulhargis53 - Aug 10, 2012 at 6:49 PM

      Dude, you know there is the new invention, its called women.
      I’ve never seen someone as in serious need of getting laid as you.
      You’re on here 24/7. My God, get a life!!!

      • hojo20 - Aug 10, 2012 at 10:01 PM

        Dont feed the Laker trolls.

    • itsonlyaspeedbump - Aug 10, 2012 at 8:26 PM

      Wait, we can’t trash Howard as a terrible person? Then what have we been doing with Lebron James for the past 2 years?

  3. playin2x - Aug 10, 2012 at 6:53 PM

    Bitter much? As far as I’m concerned the magic can do the same thing the cavs are doing .. Rebuild .. He did not singlehandedly wreck the franchise.. I think the magic should be happy they got this head case out of town so now they can focus on players who want to be there .. Even with Howard they could not compete with the heat or thunder or spurs or celtics .. Too many missing pieces

  4. sellahh - Aug 10, 2012 at 6:58 PM

    “He hurt them for a year, forced out a great coach”
    I’m not so sure about SVG being a great coach, a great coach would recognize Dwight’s limited offensive abilities and reshape his offence. SVG’s offensive schemes were much like Toronto’s few years ago as in hot potato, nonsense pass to a nonsense pass to a contested 3-pointer. He’s been to the Finals, granted… but it was much more Dwight’s great perfomances and aberration of Celtics lacking KG than SVG’s coaching skills.
    I just don’t believe you can win it all if you are as predictable as the Magic were during SVG’s tenure.

  5. lakerluver - Aug 10, 2012 at 7:13 PM

    And you’re on here every time I’m on here, so what does that say about you? The weird thing is I’m a LAKERS fan, I should be on this page. Why exactly are YOU here?! Like many others have discovered, you’re obsessed with everything LAKERS!!

    • saint1997 - Aug 10, 2012 at 9:15 PM

      I don’t like knowing you exist…

      • 1historian - Aug 11, 2012 at 8:35 AM

        it’s a little late for that wouldn’t you say?

        Seriously – you two should just get a room

  6. mctyboy35 - Aug 10, 2012 at 7:16 PM

    Matt Moore sucks as a writer and clearly has no objectivity. He’s no more than a glorified forum poster that hates on anything “Laker.” Pull this chump NBC…youre being represented by this guy? Nice…lol

  7. lakerluver - Aug 10, 2012 at 7:17 PM

    Btw, I didn’t know women were considered “inventions”. But then again I guess when they’re the blow up kind technically they are “invented”, huh, ph53?! Dude, I’m not even gonna let you spoil the Howard party. You’re clueless.

  8. smcgaels1997 - Aug 10, 2012 at 7:19 PM

    Dwight Howard isn’t a bad person? Have you been watching this dolt for the last year?? Let’s see…He gets his GM and Coach fired, then immeidatley straps the new GM with limitations because he coudlnt keep his mouth shut. He gauranteed the Magic would get nothing close to any true value for him and they didn’t. He slimed his way out because he couldnt be mature to just let it run its course and happen. Hell Carmelo Anthony looks like he did his old team right compared to Howard. He asked for a trade…aimed towards NY and let Denver do a deal that worked for them too. Nope not Howard. He wanted his way so bad he crapped all over the city, the fans and coaches and the NBA allowing him to be bartered off to LA for peanuts. Up yours Howard. Your a piece of trash that was paid extremely hansomly by the Magic and deserved much more that when you did to them. Put your tail between your legs go to LA and keep your trap shut…since your a mental midget and cant hang with the pressure lets see how you do in the big lights since thats what you wanted.

  9. jb24fan - Aug 10, 2012 at 7:20 PM

    I don’t understand why this is getting so much attention. Doesn’t anyone realize that the Bucks just signed Joel Pryzbilla? Yes, THE Joel Pryzbilla. This should be backpage news.

  10. lew24 - Aug 10, 2012 at 7:25 PM

    Not sure if he got his wish. He wanted to be a Net. He stupidly opt in because the Magic threaten to trade him to LA.

    Wow…so much bitterness here. Trust me…the sun will rise.

  11. lakerluver - Aug 10, 2012 at 7:45 PM

    Ok, if you want to consider him a bad person, so be it. However, my beloved LAKERS obviously don’t share that opinion. Maybe he’d still be there had the ownership done a better job getting him some help. Magic fans should be grateful he was there as long as he was. After all, he rejuvenated a franchise that had allowed the most dominant force ever to just walk away (Shaq) AND pretty much singlehandedly took them to a Finals!! The Magic learned NOTHING from the whole Shaq fiasco. Those who do not learn from their mistakes are doomed to repeat them!! Or something like that. All I know for sure is, as a LAKERS fan I’m ecstatic!!!

    • sellahh - Aug 10, 2012 at 8:34 PM

      Well im a Laker lover as well and you speaking nothing but truth (although in homer fasion), Dwight did take Magic to the finals in 2009 by himself and whereas Bynum’s O is certainly better, Dwight’s impact on D will be about perfect for a team like that. Bynum was flat out inconsistent on the D side of the game whereas Howard always stays up to his high standards there, whether he gets looks on O or not…

    • camnellum12 - Aug 10, 2012 at 10:34 PM

      Hold on, hold on, HOLD ON. Dwight “single handily” took the Magic to the Finals? Did you know Jameer Nelson and Rashard Lewis were also All-Stars in 2009? The reason Orlando made the Finals was because they lived and died by the 3, and they made it rain that post season, Dwight mostly cleaned up the mess. And Wilt Chamberlain is the most dominant force ever.

      • scalfor3 - Aug 11, 2012 at 2:09 PM

        i dont think lakerluver understands that its harder to build a winner in orlando than LA…

  12. paulhargis53 - Aug 10, 2012 at 8:33 PM

    oooof. recycling my blow up doll taunt?
    How pathetic and totally you!

    The big difference is I’m out in a bar having cocktails, with my girlfriend, laughing at how stupidly ignorant you are.
    While you are at home, alone being ecstatic over large black men.


  13. phillyphil005 - Aug 10, 2012 at 8:54 PM

    What goes around, comes around.

    I can’t wait to see Karma extract it’s revenge on Howard…and even better is the fact that he’s gonna bring that dark cloud over the Lakers organization.

    I used to like the guy, but the way he has conducted himself during this was nothing short of dispicable…and not going to the kids camp to make an appearance when they paid to see you was the final straw.

    You reap what you sew, Howard…remember that.

  14. ningenito78 - Aug 10, 2012 at 8:56 PM

    Hey lakerluver go back to your bandwagon and shut the f-k up. What a surprise you take issue with the tone of the article now that he’s a Laker you homer fraud I guarantee if he was a Net right now you would be agreeing with every word of the article. I’m not a Magic fan at all but the author nailed it. It will be funny in 2 years when the Clippers own LA because Kobe and Nash are in a retirement village and Howard is a shadow of himself when his back on his 7 foot frame inevitably becomes arthritic. It will be exactly the medicine the Magic fans need.

    • sellahh - Aug 10, 2012 at 9:14 PM

      And when Howard’s back becomes arthritic the Lakers will trade him for DRose. I mean what else do you expect, hater?

    • camnellum12 - Aug 10, 2012 at 10:37 PM

      Dwight is 6’9, 6’10 in heels. And I’m a Laker fan, but let lakerluver ruin it for all of us. But I got a feeling it’s 2004 all over again.

      • camnellum12 - Aug 10, 2012 at 11:04 PM

        *don’t let

  15. socalgal64 - Aug 10, 2012 at 10:20 PM

    Yeah right, and if he doesn’t say anything to thank the fans of Orlando, you can write another article about what a terrible person he is.

  16. magicbucs - Aug 10, 2012 at 11:42 PM

    @lakerluvr. Good luck with Dwight coward after Kobe and Nash are gone. Good luck with his flip flopping to resign with the lakers after next season. Oh and good luck with the hookers out in LA cause that’s all the vag you’ll ever get. GO MAGIC.
    F LA…… NO THAT’S NOT FLORIDAS abbreviation

  17. badintent - Aug 11, 2012 at 1:32 AM

    Put a gag ball on Howard’s agent, then shove a broom stick up his butt. Then have Howard put a flag “Bandwagon LA “on the broom stick and ride on Sunset strip in his rag top with said agent and flag.Mike Brown will be fired by mid -season with this circus.Then drum roll please,” The Lakers are happy to introduce Phil Jackson as the new coach.”IN other news, Downtown LA was hit by 7.9 earthquake and Staple Center got pancaked.” Drum roll again, with Tom Cruise announcing his new movie, “Escape from Earth ” Screen play by Ron Hubbard. Cameo by Kobe and his new hoe.

  18. 1historian - Aug 11, 2012 at 8:41 AM

    FYI – I hate the Lakers. Not because they’re terrible people but because I am a Celtics fan and that is one of the requirements for being able to call yourself a Celtics fan.

    That being said – I congratulate the lakers for making such a bold move, and I hope it blows up in their faces asap. If I REALLY cared (I don’t) I would pay to see it happen, but I’ll settle for a video of the first time Kobe gets into Howard’s face.

    And he will.

  19. omniusprime - Aug 11, 2012 at 8:55 AM

    Stop being such a whining crybaby Matt Moore, the Orlando Tragic got just what they should always have expected from the Orlando, now Hollywood, Diva. Too bad the Tragic never put a great team around Howard, now they reap what they sow which is nothing but misery. Now Howard has a chance to really win a championship without all of the weight being on his shoulders. Just what did the Tragic do for Howard? Nothing.

    Stop putting all the blame on Howard, the Tragic mismanagement deserves lots of credit for never giving Howard a chance at a title by never putting a great team around him. Go Lakers!

  20. manchestermiracle - Aug 11, 2012 at 10:28 AM

    Now if only we can get Moore to follow his own advice. Howard wanted out and the Magic dithered and stalled for months on end. Howard is watching his prime fade away in a putrid backwater of the NBA, but Moore thinks he should have just shut up and been a good little soldier.

    Breaking news for all of you (like Moore) who think the pro game has any relationship to what you played as a little boy: It’s a huge business with billions of dollars at stake. Suits can wheel and deal long into old age. Athletes have a narrow window of opportunity. To expect a player of Howard’s abilities to hang around while the front office does little to nothing to upgrade the team and give him a real chance at a ring smacks of naivete on a massive scale.

    Could Howard have handled the situation differently/better? Most likely. Could the Magic executives? Without a doubt. Howard pushed, they waffled. Howard shoved, they twiddled their collective thumbs. Finally Howard had had enough and pushed them to the brink. All the Magic front office did was repeat the stupidity displayed back when Shaq wanted out. Those who fail to learn from their mistakes are doomed to repeat them. It’s a business, much like any other. Funny how no one much cared about the Magic until they shot themselves in the foot in this situation.

    This season will go a long way towards revealing just which side was the villain in all this. Neither side is blameless, but the Magic screwed themselves in not taking Howard seriously and negotiating the best deal immediately instead of sitting on their hands and backing themselves into a corner. They got fleeced because they revealed their ignorance in how to deal with the issue and a smart GM took advantage of that. Cry about it if you want, but do what you want Howard to do: Shut up and move on.

  21. jbones77 - Aug 11, 2012 at 10:54 AM

    What are all these movies everyone thinks he’s going to be in by going to LA? Are they doing a remake of Eddie or something

  22. scalfor3 - Aug 11, 2012 at 2:13 PM

    i think carmelo handled his situation the best of those 3. at least he was clear the whole time that he wouldn’t stay in denver. dwight and bron tortured their fanbases with hope (yup, batman reference)

  23. paulhargis53 - Aug 11, 2012 at 4:34 PM

    scal: Lakerluver doesn’t understand a lot of things.
    A light switch baffles him.

  24. cranespy - Aug 12, 2012 at 9:17 AM

    The Cavs and Nets will be playoff teams multiple times before Orlando ever gets even a sniff of an 8th spot. In 5 years there may not even be a team in Orlando.

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