The “Dwightmare” has finally come to its long and dreadful conclusion for the Lakers. It is official Dwight Howard has decided to join the Houston Rockets. On July 10th, he will officially sign a four-year, $88 million deal, with a player option in his third year.
The Rockets entered the free agency period as the front-runner to land Howard, but he also met with the Atlanta Hawks, Dallas Mavericks, Golden State Warriors, and the Lakers. Still, as we all suspected, Howard will be taking his talents to Houston.
What we have all seen since Howard arrived in Laker Land has been nothing but uncertainty within himself and more of a child than a mature man running around the second biggest market in sports. Howard begged and begged to leave the Orlando Magic because he was to insecure to handle being compared to Shaquille O’Neal to come to the big sports-market of Los Angeles after his first choice of going to Brooklyn had crashed and burned, and let his personality shine both on and off the court. Of course, after Dwight realized that again he would be compared and asked to live up to all of the great centers the Lakers have produced, he again folded under the pressure and took the easy way out.
From where I am sitting, it is fairly obvious as to why Howard chose to leave this great city. We saw it all year; Dwight Howard simply cannot handle the bright lights of Los Angeles. The pressure was too big for him, and he had no idea what he was getting himself into when he came to L.A. Dwight wanted to be loved so much by our great fans that he forgot how to play basketball. I will be the first one to admit, I defended Dwight and said his play was hampered by injury and it might have been, but if it was, then why not come back and prove to the Laker faithful that his injuries did hamper you and you still are the dominant center that we saw in the 2009 NBA Finals?
The biggest example of the stage being too bright had to be when he was ejected in the Lakers’ elimination game of the first round of the playoffs against the San Antonio Spurs. In all reality, this was the time for Dwight to show the Lakers and all of the Laker faithful that he would be able to represent the Lakers and be able to be the face the hardships of a team that was going through a difficult time and lead them through.
Instead, the child that we once had faith in showed up and showed the franchise what they will not be missing out on come next season. Were we expecting the Lakers to beat the Spurs with Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash being hurt? Probably not. But there was a way in which Dwight could have conducted himself. Looking back, should we have expected Dwight be act any more different than what he did? We got exactly what he was all along, a child waiting for the excuse to point the finger at anyone else but himself and he went crying off the court and out of Los Angeles.
Another great example is after a loss to the Chicago Bulls. Dwight went to the press and waived the box score to reporters making it known that he only had attempted five shots on offense. Um excuse me Dwight, you play in a guard driven league, and sometimes touches in the post are scarce for centers. That is how the league works now. Also, your post game is below par, and there are three centers in the NBA with better post games than you: Roy Hibbert, Marc Gasol, and Andrew Bynum. What makes you think the ball must automatically go into you every time down the floor? You are not even the best post player on the team as that would be a player who understands what means to wear the purple and gold. His name is Pau Gasol.
This scenario of five touches might be happening next year too when he is playing with James Harden, Chandler Parsons and trigger happy Jeremy Lin, who thrived last season playing a run-and-gun style. If you have a problem with your touches, go to the source and be a big boy about it. Do not go cry to the media and further prove everyone’s point that you are a child. Another way around your touches issue is if you could maybe make a free throw once in a while so your team will throw you the ball in the post an not have to worry about you getting fouled every time you touch it.
Life without Dwight Howard has officially begun for the Lakers. Unfortunately, the times look dark in Los Angeles, but one thing is for certain, the Lakers will be better than the Houston Rockets in three years. It stings that we have a lot of work to do next year just to be competitive, but do we really need an immature child who cannot handle the challenges that Los Angeles presents to lean on? No. We should really be thanking Dwight as he just gave the best general manager in basketball an insane amount of $56 million in salary cap space for the loaded free agent class of 2014. Can you imagine what kind of moves he can pull off with that kind of money?
So Dwight, thank you for your one year of service and your big smile, but your time here in Los Angeles has come to its conclusion. Now your name can be used in the same sentence with great Laker centers like Chris Mihm and Kwame Brown, who fell flat on their faces here just like you did. Thank you for your time and enjoy yourself in Houston, the Lakers will be just fine without you.
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