In the latest installment of ESPN’s Sunday Conversation, NBA analyst Ric Bucher sat down with newly acquired Lakers center Dwight Howard. The big man talked about his feelings surrounding his trade demand in Orlando and the ultimate move that brought him to L.A., but also explained some of his reasoning behind his decision.
During the interview, Howard brought up Miami Heat forward LeBron James, and mentioned the process in which James left his former team and the subsequent venom he faced following The Decision.
“It was a tug of war between my feelings and the fans and everybody else and their feelings and what happened to LeBron. And I saw him — everybody hated him for leaving Cleveland and what he did.”
After James left the Cavaliers for Miami he quickly became one of the most hated players in professional sports, even outside of Cleveland. While the fans in Ohio felt betrayed by James, other basketball fans believed he took the easy way out by teaming up with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in South Beach.
Howard expressed to Bucher that he didn’t want to face the same scrutiny James did when he switched teams. Ironically, Howard may have inadvertently done the same damage to himself with the way he allowed the ‘Dwightmare’ saga to play out. There’s little question that Howard will be heavily booed in arenas around the league next season, and will most certainly face LeBron-like venom the first time he returns to Orlando.
It seems that Dwight may have finally learned the lesson James did following his first season in Miami, however. During the interview with Bucher he noted this self-realization.
“I can’t make everybody happy.”
Well, there are plenty of Lakers fans happy to have him on their side now, and will most certainly have Dwight’s back as long as he’s in Los Angeles.
In case you missed it – Dwight Howard talks about starting over in Los Angeles