Mar 5, 2014, 11:45 AM EDT
And for good reason.
I have nothing against Howard leaving Orlando, but I’m also not a Magic fan. Part of the fan game is getting illogically mad about someone changing employers.
The game is up, though, apparently.
As a part of their ongoing 25th-anniversary celebration, the Magic will air a video tribute to Howard on Amway Center’s scoreboard during a first-quarter timeout.
The Magic have shown similar video tributes this season for former players and coaches who were visiting with their current teams. In most cases, Orlando’s typically disengaged fans have greeted the returnees with little more than polite applause.
Announcement: Pro Basketball Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $120,000 Fantasy Basketball league for Wednesday night’s games. It’s $25 to join and first prize is $13,000. Starts at 7pm ET on Wednesday. Here’s the FanDuel link.
In time, the Magic should welcome back Howard. He spent eight years in Orlando, making six All-Star teams and leading the Magic to an NBA Finals. He is, considering both his longevity and success there, the best player in Magic history.
But this is too soon. He left on too bad of terms. Wounds are too fresh.
The Magic’s best course would have been ignoring Howard until it’s OK to celebrate him again, and that would have taken a few more years. But they backed themselves into a corner with their 25th-anniversary tributes. Don’t give him a video, and it’s noteworthy. Give him a video, and it’s noteworthy.
I don’t know what they should have done.
But I know what I would do if I were a Magic fan at that game: Boo as loudly as I could for every moment that video plays.
- Report: Mo Williams signing with Cavaliers for most of their MLE 9
- Report: Cavaliers, Clippers discussing Jamal Crawford for Brendan Haywood trade 25
- Reports: David West agrees to veteran minimum deal to play for Spurs 68
- Report: Marc Gasol, Grizzlies reach deal on five-year, $110 million contract 8
- Manu Ginobili tweets he’ll play next season 5
- Who is left: 15 best free agents still on the board 14
- Report: Detroit Pistons sign restricted free agent Reggie Jackson for five-years, $80 million 38
- Report: Lakers near deal to sign Brandon Bass, may trade Nick Young 36