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Dwight Howard says he feels like a villain, relates to LeBron

Oct 3, 2013, 1:27 PM EDT

Dwight Howard Getty Images

After the LeBron James “decision” process and television show, myself and a lot of others said that nobody could make a bigger public relations mess of their switching teams than LeBron.

Then along came Dwight Howard.

Two years of a roller coaster that had him out of Orlando, spending an uncomfortable year in Los Angeles, and finally landing in Houston was a mess.

Now it’s over, and Howard realizes how he is perceived, as he told Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.

“Last year, I felt like I was the villain,” Howard told Yahoo Sports. “Now, I feel like I’m an even bigger villain.”

Howard talked about how he related to LeBron through this — and how just like LeBron, winning is the way to repair that image.

“He got hated for a lot of reasons,” Howard told Yahoo. “I was really, really happy when LeBron finally won. I was unhappy that it wasn’t me up there, but I was glad to see him get through that whole thing.

“I knew exactly how he felt. People putting you down, saying bad things about your character, who you are as a person. It doesn’t sit well with you. When you go out on the court, you want to show them, ‘Hey, this isn’t who I am.’

I’ve said before, Houston and the next several years are where Dwight Howard’s ultimate legacy will be defined. He has come off as a guy looking to avoid adversity, to have things handed to him, these past couple years. He will not see it that way, but that’s the perception.

Now there is no moving on — he has to win in Houston. He can, they have the pieces to be a contender (with some roster tweaks and some time for this all to meld).

The question is how he will deal with the inevitable adversity, but if he answers that question and wins then he changes that legacy. As LeBron did (and Kobe before him). It’s not fair that winning whitewashes past mistakes, but welcome to America. It’s the reality.

  1. chargerdillon - Oct 3, 2013 at 1:34 PM

    Lebron is considered a villain because he’s polarizing and rubs people the wrong way with his arrogance.

    Dwight you’re no villain, you’re just somebody very few people have respect for, you’re also somebody that very few people take serious because of your own actions, and you’re also somebody who’s been a cancer in 2 different locker rooms.

    Lebron is a villain but Lebron has made both teams he’s played for, FAR BETTER TEAMS. Lebron is a leader, Lebron is a good teamate, Lebron is all the things Magic and Lakers fans wished you were and were left wanting.

    Villain you are not, crybaby you are.

    • antistratfordian - Oct 3, 2013 at 1:50 PM

      Well you just vilified him.

      • beach305 - Oct 3, 2013 at 6:26 PM

        Welcome to Fandom

    • lawrencemercado - Oct 3, 2013 at 1:53 PM

      Really can’t put it any better than that. That’s Dwight Howard in a nutshell. Good riddance, imo. The Lakers will be better without him ruining the team’s chemistry.

    • zoomy123 - Oct 3, 2013 at 2:50 PM

      Lebron James is arrogant? LOL! Even assuming this is true, I always find it funny that for some athletes being arrogant is a virtue, like Jordan or Kobe. I’ve never heard someone claim that Kobe or Jordan’s arrogance was a hindrance, people have actually even claimed the opposite.

      In any event, I find it difficult to understand how anybody can see LBJ as arrogant; he hasn’t really done anything to deserve the title. He’s probably the most unselfish superstar of all time on the court, he can’t seem to give enough of his time and money to charity or his community, even when he made “The Decision” all the money it generated went to charity.

    • detectivejimmymcnulty - Oct 3, 2013 at 5:38 PM

      I have never understood the “I hate Lebron because he’s arrogant.” All these players are arrogant. I don’t have a problem with Kobe saying “Sometime he forgets he’s the best, whereas, I don’t” because Kobe has earned the right to say that just like Lebron has earned the right to be arrogant.

      What I don’t have a problem with is players like Jordan Crawford acting like he’s some great players. Now that just bugs me.

      • detectivejimmymcnulty - Oct 3, 2013 at 5:38 PM

        The second part should be DO have a problem with not don’t.

    • zerole00 - Oct 3, 2013 at 5:40 PM

      Okay, so I’m not a LeBron fan, but I don’t see how he’s viewed as a villain. Was the whole “Decision” fiasco a huge display of arrogance? Yep. Do I dislike him for it? Yep. Was he wrong in leaving Cleveland? Nope, he finished his contract and left. That was it.

      Dwight is a “villain” because not only did he drag Orlando through a nightmare year with his flip flopping and whining, but he also hurt their trading position with his actions. If you’re going to leave that’s fine, but why actively hurt your team as they try to salvage what they can out of your departure? That’s pure douchebaggery. If he really wanted to leave he should have gone the Carmelo route and kept his mouth shut, look at how well Denver made out.

    • apkyletexas - Oct 3, 2013 at 6:30 PM

      @chargerdillon – good job making Howard’s point for him. Stupid haters will be stupid haters – just got to go out and win.

      • chargerdillon - Oct 3, 2013 at 8:16 PM

        you must not be a Magic or Laker fan to understand how much BS this guy throws out without taking any ownership for his own actions.

        I watched every single game of him last year, and prior to that I was a fan of him with the magic up until his contract cries.

        By all means you’re entitled to your opinion, mine comes from a large amount of time watching this guy act unprofessional.

      • adamsjohn714 - Oct 4, 2013 at 12:14 AM

        I think the Magic fans appreciate him carrying them to the playoffs every season and to the Finals once. Lakers fans probably should thank him for playing through injuries the entire season and still being pretty good. Lakers fans should also realize their team last year was riddled with injuries and they didn’t underachieve because people played poorly, they underachieved because they didn’t play.

      • apkyletexas - Oct 4, 2013 at 1:50 AM

        @chargerdillon – good – you watched all the games. Then you know better than nearly anyone how he played through nearly unbearable back and shoulder pain the entire season, but never begged off or made excuses, playing 36 minutes a game and only missing 6 games. And even with all that pain, he shot 58% from the floor and grabbed 12.5 rebounds a game – the best shooting percentage for a full season for any Laker since Shaq hit 58% in the 2003-2004 season.

        Your team’s problem wasn’t that he wasn’t productive – he was the best percentage shooter and rebounder on the team by a long shot. Your team’s problem is they never figured out how to use him.

      • ranfan12 - Oct 4, 2013 at 9:56 AM

        “Lakers fans probably should thank him for playing through injuries the entire season and still being pretty good. Lakers fans should also realize their team last year was riddled with injuries and the”

        The thing about that is people start calling those excuses, ridiculing fans for bringing that up

  2. chitownmatt - Oct 3, 2013 at 1:55 PM

    “…whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”

    Sincerely, I do wish you all the best in Huston. But if you really don’t want people treating you like a annoying immature whinny B!tch, maybe you should consider banning yourself from all media interviews for the next two or three years.

  3. justorion - Oct 3, 2013 at 2:07 PM

    The difference is Lebron was wanted by fans in Cleveland, LA fans said good riddance, notice nobody burned Howard jerseys…

  4. lakerade - Oct 3, 2013 at 2:36 PM

    He still believes he’s on some preordained path, as if there is one.

  5. thenew013 - Oct 3, 2013 at 2:48 PM

    I always respected Howards PR mess a little more b/c he made it clear he did not want to be with such and such team and he gave reasons as to why he wasnt happy with his situation at the time. LeBron had Cleveland pulling there bottom lip to the back of their neck trying to get him to stay. I know he said the Cavs were in his plans and were a strong option but I honestly think he knew he was going to Miami before free agency even started.

    • detectivejimmymcnulty - Oct 3, 2013 at 5:40 PM

      I think he knew he’d likely leave but even with Lebron the Cavs just couldn’t attract big time free agents without overpaying. In Miami guys take pay cuts to join the team.

  6. losanginsight - Oct 3, 2013 at 2:51 PM

    She12 was happy to see another player and team winning the O’Brien? Have fun Houston!

  7. miamatt - Oct 3, 2013 at 6:41 PM


    LeBron’s “decision” pales in comparison to the drama Howard created the past two years. If you take away the decision show, LeBron really did nothing wrong, unless you consider exercising your right to make a decision on where to work “wrong”.

    Dwight dragged everybody through the muck for two years. He threw coaches and teammates under the bus in two cities. One thing LeBron has never been accused of being is a bad teammate. Quite the opposite, in fact.

  8. 32magicman - Oct 3, 2013 at 7:06 PM

    I don’t think you are a villain Dwight. Just an immature, dim, arrogant knobhead.

  9. ocgunslinger - Oct 3, 2013 at 8:16 PM

    Remember Dwight….you will have to go through Miami for any rings. Do you really think you would match up with what Pat Riley has, can and will put together? You will retire ringless.

  10. 700levelvet - Oct 3, 2013 at 8:27 PM

    He belongs on a WNBA team….

  11. ezwriter69 - Oct 3, 2013 at 9:57 PM

    Wah, wah, wah. Self-pity is such a pathetic thing in a young healthy rich man… and SO revealing of the shortcomings of the man. Think MJ, Bird, or even LeBron would ever say this kind of thing? They have that thing inside that doesn’t say “poor me”, it say “bleep you” and tightens the jaw and makes them play that much harder… totally absolutely lacking in Mr. Pity Party. If you noticed, big guy, LeBron didn’t whine publicly about the crappola he took… I’m no LBJ fan, but he took the bleep and kept playing.

  12. losanginsight - Oct 3, 2013 at 11:17 PM

    Have fun Houston

  13. losanginsight - Oct 3, 2013 at 11:21 PM

    Not a villain. More like a daughter on toddlers and tiaras.

  14. lhollis74 - Oct 3, 2013 at 11:38 PM

    Question, do mentally strong individuals ever care about what other people think about what they do?

    Please could someone enlighten me with the name of one superstar team leader who is so concerned about fans opinions of him, cuz I can’t think of one.

    And to think he wanted the lakers to amnesty Kobe and make the team his!!??

    Laker fans should find solace in the fact that its bad now, but could have been much worse!

  15. beachsidejames - Oct 4, 2013 at 9:10 AM

    Lebron has come along way from the bad “decission” day and has proven to be a class act on and off the court. Dwight? Not so much.

  16. ranfan12 - Oct 4, 2013 at 9:58 AM

    I just want to see him go out and bring his A game this season.Otherwise being signed to Houston is a waste of everyone’s time. I don’t hold any grudges, I just want to see points, rebounds, blocks, and all that other good stuff he does from time to time. He runs the floor good when he know what the deal is and he ran it a lot last season.

  17. MyTeamsAllStink - Oct 4, 2013 at 11:24 AM

    The Rockets AND the Lakers are better off.

  18. freddysanford - Oct 4, 2013 at 3:25 PM

    We know who you are Dwight. You’re a narcissist who is so in love with himself he will never be a team player. You’ll never rest in the NBA because you’re not a likable person. And don’t compare yourself to hard working players in the NBA. You ain’t and never will be because you have an entitlement complex. You are irrelevant. Shudup

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