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Dwight Howard bolted court without shaking Magics’ hands

Dec 4, 2012, 11:38 AM EDT

Dwight Howard AP

This is one of those situations that really says more about how you feel about players being friendly with opponents than it does about the situation.

The Orlando Magic not only beat the Dwight Howard and his new team the Lakers on Sunday night, they embarrassed their own teammate. They went to hack-a-Dwight on the guy they stood by for so long in Orlando and watched him go 9-of-21 from the stripe.

After the game, Howard left the court without shaking any Magic players hands.

That didn’t go unnoticed, but the Magic players didn’t really care, either, reports Josh Robbins in the Orlando Sentinel (hat tip to the Hang Time Blog):

“That’s fine,” Magic point guard Jameer Nelson said. “Certain guys don’t shake hands after the game. I don’t have any hard feelings to the guy. He made a decision to do what he did. He’s on the team that he’s on. I’m here in Orlando, where I want to be. I just wish him the best of luck. I’m not going to go up and hug him and kiss him or anything like that. I think my coach would be mad at me.”

“If he wants to walk off the court, it’s cool,” (Glen) Davis said. “No hard feelings, you know? He lost. I would feel bad, too. I wouldn’t want to shake anybody’s hand. So it is what it is.”

Howard clearly seemed a little beaten down and frustrated in post-game interviews. That was not fun for him.

But like I said, how you feel about him shaking hands really speaks to how you feel about an NBA where most of the players are friends off the court. If you think Howard did the right thing you are old school, you like the idea that Kevin Garnett won’t speak to Ray Allen now. If you think Howard was being unsportsmanlike, you are of a newer mindset that gets players can go hard at a guy on the court and shut those feelings down when the game ends and be friends.

Think what you want, as Big Baby said it is what it is.

  1. godfather8775 - Dec 4, 2012 at 11:55 AM

    Howard a big p**s… He didn’t shake anyone’s hand because his old team beat him… The team that had a bunch of losers on it… It had nothing to do with competitive nature

    • aqzi - Dec 4, 2012 at 1:11 PM

      I don’t know about Howard but I do know that if I cost my team the game because of an area of my game that is easily improved and that I haven’t been able to improve since entering the league (FT shooting), I would be at best embarrassed and at worst pissed off.

  2. chargerdillon - Dec 4, 2012 at 11:56 AM

    Maybe he was just embarrassed for being the horrible chokejob of a basketball player that he really is.

    The Magic made him look like the absolute weakest link on the court for the Lakers.

    Anybody who thinks this is just a phase is kidding themselves. Every team will play Dwight this way, and every team will take over in the 4th quarter as Dwight misses shots.

    There isnt a fix to Dwights problem, he’s been exposed and as long as he’s on the court in the 4th quarter EVERY TEAM will play him that way

  3. watermelon1 - Dec 4, 2012 at 12:03 PM

    This whole “tactic” is stupid.

    If the Lakers are stupid enough to give Dwight Howard the ball then fine… hack away.

    But all this off-the-ball fouling is stupid and should be banned. Well… not banned. But… if you foul someone off the ball intentionally then the opposing team should be able to have anyone shoot the free throw just like a technical. If Dwight(or anyone) has the ball, or is receiving the ball… then fine, he has to shoot and it’s his job to make it. But this off-the-ball fouling someone on the complete other side of the court is not even basketball. It’s bad for the game, it’s bad for the fans watching at home, and it’s especially stupid and unfair for the fans who paid to attend the game.

    I mean, professional sports are trying to cut-down on the length of their games. Letting this nonsense to go on disgustingly extends the time. Also, they’ve made so many rules to increase scoring because that’s what fans want to see. So why would you allow this crap, which doesn’t increase scoring and drags the game to a grinding halt?

    • tubal22 - Dec 4, 2012 at 2:50 PM

      Or… since you make $238,292 per game, maybe you could, you know, learn to shoot free throws so people don’t foul you intentionally.

      • badintent - Dec 4, 2012 at 11:45 PM

        yawn, Lakers lose yet again, to Rockets tonight. Hummmmmm. boring. Maybe they could do a new reality TV show for all the drama and have it sponsored by No Doz.

    • jjordannba - Dec 4, 2012 at 6:40 PM

      aaaah it’s cute that all the Laker fans liked this post

  4. eventhorizon04 - Dec 4, 2012 at 12:04 PM

    Never really been a fan of “didn’t shake the other team’s hands” controversies.

    I’ve seen frustrated stars of many different teams head straight to the locker room even before the final buzzer sounds all the time. The media only occasionally reports on it, usually if it fits a storyline.

    These guys should shake hands after in the name of sportsmanship, but I never understood people getting upset about it.

  5. fanofevilempire - Dec 4, 2012 at 12:22 PM

    maybe he had to pee………………
    I hope he shakes after………………

  6. magicbucs - Dec 4, 2012 at 12:28 PM

    At watermelon…
    If you foul a player without the ball under 2 min of the game any player can shoot the FTs. It’s called strategy. Maybe Dwight needs to start making FTs.

    • miamatt - Dec 4, 2012 at 12:42 PM

      Couldn’t agree more. You take advantage of a player’s weakness any way you can. And let’s please not get into refs making judgment calls on intentional off the ball fouls.

      I would think such strategy would encourage a player to shore up his weakness. Hell, Shaq at least made them when he had too…. at least according to him lol…

      The blame for “hack a howard” lies squarely on D’wight’s shoulders… the opposition is just trying to win a game- and it worked, this time.

  7. veinsofgod - Dec 4, 2012 at 1:14 PM

    I don’t think it has anything to do with anyone being friends off the court. They can if they want to. I was just taught growing up that if you didn’t congratulate someone for winning, that made you a sore loser. Was anyone else taught that?

  8. dysraw1 - Dec 4, 2012 at 1:34 PM

    DH. should work on his free throws if im coaching i would be forced to rely on other biggs in the 4th qtr

  9. mrcuret - Dec 4, 2012 at 1:45 PM

    Dwight’s just a diva, & just like a little kid who didn’t get what he wanted (the win) he got mad & headed straight to the locker room, probably throwing a little tantrum on his way there. I bet if the Lakers would have won the game he’d have been hugging & shaking hands with his ex teammates & telling everybody how emotional the game was. But good for the Magic, for winning the game & for embarrassing him in front of his home crowd.

  10. lawrinson20 - Dec 4, 2012 at 3:20 PM

    This has nothing to do with being “old school” or “of a newer mindset.” You would probably describe me as “old school,” but my origins dictate that sportsmanship should rise above everything.

    This was about two things:
    • The Magic humiliated Howard with the Hack-a-Dwight strategy. Dwight was offended and embarrassed, a situation exacerbated by the fact that he shunned the Magic and they got the last/most recent laugh.
    • There are some lingering bad feelings between Dwight and his former teammates after he publicly declared he wasn’t interested in remaining a Magic player. The Magic players and management should have been offended. Dwight carried this on for two years. Lots of resentment on both sides.

    Kevin Garnett’s rebuke of Ray Allen has nothing to do with intensity or Old School-ness or anything of the kind. Kevin Garnett is simply a childish pr!ck. He doesn’t seem to have the mental capacity to deal with being able to compete at a maximum level on the court and also separate that from any other thoughts. Small brains need to compartmentalize things and seal those compartments. You would think, after the Malik Sealy experience, that Garnett would be able to entertain a more mature sense of perspective. But, no.

  11. michaeljordanseviltwin - Dec 4, 2012 at 4:23 PM

    The last thing I want to do is defend Dwight Howard, but I think there is a good reason why big guys struggle with free throws and long jumpers. Hand size is one factor; Shaq holding a basketball is akin to a normal sized man holding a softball. It’s hard shooting a softball. Big guys are also typically very strong. Dwight misses most of his free throws off the back iron. He might be better suited to take half a step back; front iron is friendlier.

    Of course there are always exceptions. Some huge NBA players are great shooters (Yao Ming), but generally they struggle no matter how much practice they put in.

    • scalfor3 - Dec 4, 2012 at 5:33 PM

      That’s apparently why Rondo struggles at the line too. There were nutjob Kentucky fans when he was there that were calling in to talk radio and saying he should get hand reduction surgery.

  12. sportsnut101 - Dec 4, 2012 at 4:24 PM

    There should be nba rule that both teams lineup n shake hands it’s sportsmanship. Learn it as a kid but when your an adult it goes away. Wth.

    The nba makes u wear suits or business attire for players not playing. They all give high fives before game make it after to

  13. raidmagic - Dec 4, 2012 at 4:45 PM

    He was all butthurt in 09 when James did that to the Magic after we beat them in the Eastern Conference Finals. I wonder if he would have hung around and shook hands had they won. That is what makes it unsportsmanlike

  14. tropboi11 - Dec 5, 2012 at 3:18 AM

    They should all be required to shake hands after a game just like kids have to in all sports. If UFC fighters can hug after they beat the snot out of each other, NBA players can swallow their pride for 30 seconds and shake hands with their off court buddies, man the f up.

  15. paulwoodsby - Dec 5, 2012 at 5:20 AM

    Looks like the wrong guy was nicknamed “Big Baby”.

  16. orlowk - Dec 5, 2012 at 8:17 AM

    Howard is not a team player. No matter what team he’s on. Shaking hands after the game? Who cares, players get frustrated with their performance. But, Howard, he’s a baby. He’s on a great team and he can’t get the job done. After the fanfare about him moving, they should be glad to be rid of him. He’s going to become just like Rodman, a joke and a circus, all ending in nothing.

  17. omniusprime - Dec 5, 2012 at 9:07 AM

    Geez Kurt Helin, yet another worthless article about a total non event. So what if Howard didn’t shake hands with the Tragic cowards that had to cheat to win the game. Sorry but Howard had no business shaking hands with a bunch of sissies who couldn’t win the game the honest way. Kurt this non event should never have been written about, shows you have no scruples as to how you make your money writing such garbage.

    Go Howard!!! Fire Dumbtoni!!!

  18. franchiseplaya - Dec 5, 2012 at 11:41 AM

    i guess howard just didn’t want to scorch anybody with that hot free throw shooting hand of his.

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