I’m going to get a lot of flack for this from Lakers fans, but in my opinion, Dwight Howard needs to go back to smiling and having fun on the court.
Robert Horry called Howard out for being too fun-loving, and Shaquille O’Neal backed up Horry’s comments on TNT–even admitting that he himself was once too much of a smiler, but then turned into a dominant beast on the court who wanted to rip teams’ hearts out and demoralize them.
Sure, everyone likes to see their team’s most dominant player absolutely destroy the other team and do it with attitude, but that’s just not Dwight Howard’s personality.
Is he serious about his game and winning? Unquestionably, yes–and that’s all that matters.
Personally, I don’t even know what everyone is talking about or why it’s even become a topic of discussion as of late.
I haven’t seen Dwight smiling on the court or even in the locker room after losses at all this season. To me, he either looks depressed about the whole situation, or maybe he’s doing a good job of “acting” serious.
In either event, Dwight Howard isn’t going to be a nasty trash talker like Kevin Garnett or even a silent stare-you-down-after-I-dunk-on-your-whole-family type of player like Blake Griffin.
He’s going to catch an alley-oop, throw it down, and look like he’s having fun doing it.
Except, to me anyway, it seems as though the fun has been taken out of Howard’s game this season. Part of it could be due to the losing, but part of it could also be due to the harping on him by the media to get more serious and have a “killer instinct.”
The same guy who won three Defensive Player of the Year awards and carried his team to the 2009 NBA Finals needs to get more serious?
Give me a break.
He needs to stop smiling and looking like he’s having fun on the court then, right?
Nope. Like I said, he hasn’t even looked all that “happy” on the court this season, so I don’t know where all of it’s coming from, but the exact opposite needs to happen.
Remember in 2011 when the world hated LeBron James and he admittedly played with anger?
Then, remember in 2012 after he hoisted his first NBA Championship how he said that he had to be himself and stop playing with anger, and instead once again play with love, to finally win that elusive ring?
That’s what Dwight Howard needs to do. He needs to be the fun-loving guy on the court he has always been, because that guy is pretty good.
I don’t know if LeBron James still does a dance or some sort of choreography before every Miami Heat game or not simply because I don’t care about LeBron James or the Heat, but I’m sure if he still does, it’s not an issue anymore.
LeBron had to develop a killer instinct, and he did, but the only way he was able to finally let go of all the criticism was to simply ignore it and be his usual self. Everything took care of itself after that, and he ended up finally winning his first ring.
The same needs to happen with Dwight Howard.
Whether a player plays better when he has a “game face” on and wants to kill people on the court, or whether he likes to dominate with a smile, as long as the killer instinct is there, it shouldn’t matter.
In my book, Dwight Howard wants to win and wants to win bad–so whatever he does on the court besides scoring, rebounding, and blocking shots usually doesn’t bother me.
However, how he has been acting on the court lately does bother me–because he hasn’t been acting like himself!
Therefore, my message to all the critics is to think about what you’re saying, because what you’ve been saying is the exact opposite of what’s happened all season.
Whether it’s been the media or even his teammates who have been telling him to get more serious, well it looks like it worked, but it doesn’t look to be the best thing.
So, my message to Dwight is simply to be yourself and have some fun on the court!
The fans love it when Metta World Peace does his celebrations, or when Kobe Bryant pulls out the “Mamba bite” or flares his arm out like a jet coming in for landing after hitting a big shot, so why can’t Dwight Howard smile and have fun?
World Peace’s celebrations are sometimes filled with rage, and Kobe’s usually have a defiance-filled element to them, but the bottom line is those types of celebrations or gestures show that they’re into the game, are having fun out on the court, and really love what they do.
So why shouldn’t Dwight Howard have fun on the court and let it show?
He should, and maybe it will help the rest of the team in the process.