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Dwight Howard’s letter to Orlando fans doesn’t go over well. Of course.

Sep 3, 2012, 7:59 AM EDT

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Dwight Howard could not win at this point. He took out a full-page ad to thank the fans in Orlando, but that was never going to smooth things over. Not even close. It was going to stoke the anger.

Howard couldn’t win. If he does nothing he looks like he doesn’t care, if he buys the ad fans will shred him for it. He backed himself into that corner with his actions of the past six months.

George Diaz, a blogger at the Orlando Sentinel, did shred Howard for the ad (even at points using an old Sam Kinison bit).

He chose to make it a melodrama, enabled in some part by the reluctance of Magic management to trade him and be done with it. Still Howard is gone and he shares the brunt of everyone’s anger.

His parting shot involves him posing with a Los Angeles Lakers uniform. And so it comes across as awfully awkward for him to say that “although my career with the Magic has come to a close, my love for the city and the people that make it beautiful will never end.”

Sorry Dwight. It is now an unrequited love.

Again, Howard couldn’t win. He has a lot more of this coming to him this next season, and it is on Howard and those advising him. They got what they wanted, a trade to a contender in a major market (if not the one they targeted), but they sacrificed a pretty clean NBA reputation to get him there.

It was never going to end well in Orlando, it never does when a superstar forces themselves out of town. Howard did that. But he went through it like he was following a script, right down to the ad in the local paper. Howard’s problem was both he strayed from the script (waiving his opt-out rights) and he was an unconvincing actor in it.

Now he needs to repair the image, something winning can help with. But in the short term he needs to keep his head down for a while. Just play ball. Do what you do well. And understand that Orlando is never going to forgive you.

  1. changeup39 - Sep 3, 2012 at 8:51 AM

    Who is this guy’s agent and HOW does he still have a job???

    • florida727 - Sep 4, 2012 at 9:54 AM

      “But he went through it like he was following a script…”

      The guy has a high school education, of course he was following a script. What in the world would ever lead anyone to believe he’s anything but a puppet? Just because you can stuff a ball through a hole 10′ off the ground doesn’t mean you possess the intellect to do what he did and have it end well. Whoever is advising him is/are the idiots in this whole mess.

  2. boilerup1869 - Sep 3, 2012 at 9:06 AM

    Moron moron moron.

    Everyone in Orlando (and the majority of the NBA world) wants to just pretend this guy never existed. It’s unreal that someone could actually do the whole I-want-out tantrum worse than LeBron.

    I wish Dwight Howard knew who his father was so his daddy could give him a spanking.

    • scorp16 - Sep 3, 2012 at 10:16 AM

      Wow .. Can’t seem to get over LeBron can you. LeBron never had an “I want out” tantrum. He finished out his contract. Tell me where (at any time he was under contract with Cleveland) he ever pubicly came out and said “I want out of Cleveland”. He didn’t. He took the Cavs to the playoffs and he played out his contract. He then made the choice to leave. That choice did not impact the way his team played. The only thing LeBron did wrong was that abomination called “The Decision” and even that he did with the right intentions considering it raised 2 million dollars for charity.

      Dwightmare and Melo both drug their teams through a soap opera during the NBA regular season. It impacted the way their teams played, it impacted their teammates, coaches, and the fans who payed money to see those games.

      • dysraw1 - Sep 3, 2012 at 11:00 AM

        no dude here’s what Lebron did that was unforgivable to me he should came out and said look Dan i wont be back next season, instead of leading them on. the city that gave him everything they had,should have had the chance to get something in return like the Nuggets did. though the Cavs. are to blame to, because they they didn’t get commitment by the trade deadline they should have seen the writing on the wall. but were i come from loyalty is important

      • guyaneserj - Sep 3, 2012 at 12:46 PM

        dysraw1, the point that scop16 is making is still correct LBJ did not, no way, no how had an “I want out tantrum”.. That’s the point boilerup1869 raised!

        Now if u think LBJ wasn’t loyal, that’s a whole new argument, one to which ur entitled to have, one however, I simply disagree with!

        I also agree with scorp16 in that that ONLY thing in essence that LBJ did was the “Decision” and how it paaned out, irrespective of his intentions

      • scalfor3 - Sep 3, 2012 at 1:26 PM

        lebron quit on the cavs in the playoffs. why have people forgotten this?

      • florida727 - Sep 4, 2012 at 10:02 AM

        Face reality man. LeBron fulfilled his contract. Dan Snyder’s pitch to keep him in Cleveland was, literally, nothing more than a cartoon based on one of LeBron’s favorite shows, with his friends playing roles in the video. Who does that? Who tries to entice a superstar to play for their team with a freaking cartoon? (Okay. Other than Snyder.) LeBron can be criticized for “The Decision”, but even that, as pointed out, raised a lot of money for charity. Bottom line: he wanted to play for a championship caliber team, and he got what he wanted. Just because Snyder couldn’t surround him with the pieces to win it all doesn’t mean it was LeBron’s fault. (BTW, I’m a Bulls fan, not a Heat or LeBron fan, so I’m at least being objective in my comments.)

      • scalfor3 - Sep 5, 2012 at 12:07 AM

        florida, man did you see that last playoff series lebron played for the cavs? he looked and played like he didn’t give a sh*t. you can say what you will about the cavs front office and their failure to build a legit contender around bron, but he quit on them. regardless of whether he was going to stay or leave, quitting in the playoffs is pathetic

      • renaldysatio - Sep 9, 2012 at 9:17 PM

        Here’s the truth that you try to ignore the whole time…You’ve been spoiled by Lebron’s game because he always plays at a very high level that when he plays bad, it’s on him…of course I’ll say what I want about the cavs organization…they suck…how do his former teammates/coach do this day?here’s the hint
        Mo Williams(bron’s “all star” teammate) is a bench warmer
        Jamison becomes a 40% FG forward eventhough he plays with the rookie sensation Kyrie Irving
        Gibson is a bench warmer on a 20 wins team
        M.Brown almost got beaten by the freaking crippled nuggets and then dominated by the thunder

  3. worldbfree4me - Sep 3, 2012 at 9:27 AM

    If Dirk had any “Testicular Fortitude” he would have done the thing to Cuban. But I venture to guess that the Press and the Fans would be more forgiving. Perhaps his skin is his sin? Before Dwight, LeBron and Mello there were plenty of players that left their home city for greener pastures. Does the means always justify the End of course not, but in this country you do have the right to decide where you earn your living.

    • slowclyde86 - Sep 3, 2012 at 9:56 AM

      Dude, seriously? You want to make this about race? And throw in an imaginary reaction to waht YOU think Dirk should have done because he happens to be white and this somehow makes an argument? Get a clue. Howard took a major dump all over a city without a modicum of class. Zero class. Even less than that. And you make it about race when the fans do not take his “hey, its been great, I really love you guys”? Seriously, get a clue.

    • patfic15 - Sep 3, 2012 at 10:18 PM

      How about some examples? Or do you just race bait for fun?

    • scalfor3 - Sep 5, 2012 at 12:08 AM

      dirk stuck it out with the team that drafted him and eventually carried them to a championship. what a pussy

  4. grudenthediva - Sep 3, 2012 at 9:31 AM

    “I wish Dwight Howard knew who his father was so his daddy could give him a spanking.”

    I wish idiots like you could somehow attempt to make any semblance of a point without resorting to baseless stereotypes. His dad’s a State Trooper in Georgia.


  5. packhawk04 - Sep 3, 2012 at 10:20 AM

    Worldbfree… color of skin has nothing to do with it, and we all know it. If a franchise NBA player wants to leave in the prime of their career, its never going to end well, white, black, blue, or purple skinned player. There wasnt much of an uproar when KG and ray allen left for boston, but they werent in their primes anymore, same with dirk. If KG did the same thing when he was 27, people wouldve gone apesh*t. But if its color of skin, i guess if larry bird wanted and got out of boston in 1985, there wouldve been no hard feelings. C’mon…

  6. mamsy2000 - Sep 3, 2012 at 10:25 AM

    Worldbefree has the nerve to play the race card…really? Maybe Dirk has some loyalty to Cuban, the organization, the fans and the city that made him a champion, millionaire and star.
    I have no problem with players that want to move on to greener pastures but do it as a professional.
    Steve Nash wanted out of Phoenix and acted with class and dignity. That doesn’t have anything to do with skin color…it’s just fact.

    • manchestermiracle - Sep 3, 2012 at 11:47 AM

      I was thinking maybe he meant how thick his skin is. Thanks for clearing that up.

  7. manchestermiracle - Sep 3, 2012 at 11:45 AM

    Howard did himself no favors with the way he handled the situation, but I would hazard to guess that someone in their 20s doesn’t always make the mature decision. However, this is all pretty one-sided. Go back to when Howard joined the Magic as the #1 pick and show me more than two players that franchise acquired over eight years who had any chance whatsoever of helping Howard win any rings. Any club that trades for Hedo Turkoglu twice needs their collective head examined.

    The Magic was blown up and reconstructed during Howard’s tenure more times than a Laotian bridge on the Ho Chi Minh trail during the Vietnam war. Keep pounding on Howard as the sole reason the Magic now stink. I’m sure they’ll be much better without him next year, just like the Red Sox will be contending for a playoff spot now that they’ve gotten the “cancers” out of their clubhouse…..Yeah, right, and I’ve got some oceanfront property in Arizona you’ll want to snatch up. Call me, maybe….

    • scalfor3 - Sep 3, 2012 at 1:28 PM

      orlando’s management are not blameless but still…howard was a total d*ck about it

      • manchestermiracle - Sep 4, 2012 at 11:54 PM

        Right, ’cause after (likely) making multiple requests that no one outside of Orlando’s “management” ever heard about to please get him some help, Howard lost his patience and treated them the same way they’d been treating him. That would certainly make him a dick. Which would then correlate to Orlando management being the center of the douchebag universe. It looks to me like being a dick was the only way Howard was going to get any satisfaction out of buffoons in way over their heads.

  8. fanz928 - Sep 3, 2012 at 12:48 PM

    Orlando sucks management screw the team and the fans

  9. drewdatwit84 - Sep 3, 2012 at 4:36 PM

    Bcuz winning cures all. That’s why ppl have forgotten this. But if u still want to hold that in for the rest of your life until it manifests itself into a cancer inside your brain, its YOUR death AND funeral. LeBron kept his mouth shut and left when his contract was up. I’d take that over Dwight “i want out i want out i don’t wanna be here anymore during the middle of the season so fire the coach and the gm to try and keep me but I’m still gonna leave ANYWAY” Howard any day.

  10. rocirius - Sep 3, 2012 at 6:47 PM

    @scorp: You are right. LeBron never “pubicly came out.” LOL

  11. magicbucs - Sep 3, 2012 at 6:53 PM

    @manchestermiracle…. The magic didn’t trade for hedo twice. He signed as a FA the first time. Otis smith screwed the franchise after 2009. He should if been fired in 2010 for trading for Vc. If not then he should of been fired for trading for Gilbert arenas. It wasn’t the organization that needs their heads checked. It was Otis smith. He signed all his “boys” to ridiculous contracts or inherited contracts ; duhon, Richardson, arenas, davis.

    Dwight placing this add just confirms how much of a coward he is. Can’t come to Orlando for his kids camp but he flies to china for an Adidas camp. Hmmm I think the magic should sue Adidas for tampering. Watch this season he will get 100 mil deal with them. Only he had to go to NYC or LA for that $.

  12. lakerluver - Sep 3, 2012 at 6:54 PM

    Get over it, Orlando. After all, after losing Shaq to my LAKERS also you should be used to it. Next time you get a franchise center get him some help and maybe he won’t leave!!!

  13. isujames - Sep 3, 2012 at 8:56 PM

    @LLame D Howard is a year and done player for that group of geezers in la la land.Halfway through the year he will be tired of playing second fiddle to kobe.

  14. spankygreen - Sep 3, 2012 at 10:40 PM

    scalfor3 – Sep 3, 2012 at 1:26 PM

    lebron quit on the cavs in the playoffs. why have people forgotten this?

    SCALFOR3, maybe he was tired of carrying their sorry ass excuse for teammates and that worthless owner for the ENTIRE time he was in Cleveland……no one person can win by themselves yet Lebron tried. for his efforts, idiots like you still blame him……if you want to blame someone, blame that a$$whole of an owner…..

    • scalfor3 - Sep 5, 2012 at 12:11 AM

      the playoffs are not the time to get “tired” of carrying your team (something which every superstar is expected to do). cleveland did a crappy job of building a contender around lebron, but quitting like that in the playoffs (playoffs?!?) is pathetic

  15. galaragabigcat - Sep 4, 2012 at 11:13 AM

    I know Howard didn’t do this right, but what superstar has. The guy wanted out of Orlando and he made that known before the start of last season before this got out of control and before he made himself look bad. He simply
    Requested a trade to Brooklyn the same as CP3 requested a trade, but the Magic wouldn’t give it to him. CP3 got his trade and no one made a big deal about it, except the league wouldn’t let him go to the Lakers. I am a Laker fan and thought they should have traded him to Brooklyn where they could have gotten more draft picks and players in return but Magic Mgt. held a grudge with Brooklyn and wouldn’t trade with them. So this whole mess has gotten dragged out for a year and guess what, Howard still wanted out of the loser organization. They could have gotten better deal than with the Lakers!!! Don’t blame all this on Howard, the Magic were never going to keep him and they knew it. Why drag it out and make a player unhappy. Both Howard and the Magic organization are to blame equally. They should have traded him back when CP3 was traded.

  16. lakerluver - Sep 4, 2012 at 12:28 PM

    Dude, you’re dumber than a rock if you think D12 is leaving L.A. Why would he?! In 3 years the team/city is his. By that time he should be a beloved 2 time (at least) champion for the NBA’s best franchise. What you’re doing is called “wishful thinking”.

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