Yesterday I was tagged on social media by a few people as they shared a recent article about NBA player, Dwight Howard.
Why was I tagged? Because it is public knowledge that I have a very strong opinion of this gentleman.
So in honor of the recent article about how Dwight says his ego is “dead” (Neeeeegro please) and today being Thursday, here are some words I wrote about Howard six years ago.
Listen. I think you are probably a nice guy who is just out here trying to find your way, but we need to talk. Somebody has been giving you some bad advice, so I would like to offer some words from the book of “Grown Man” to point you in the right direction.
Let’s go back a bit.
In Orlando, you led your team to the NBA Finals with what some would call an inferior supporting cast. That is great. But instead of appreciating the accomplishment and growing from the experience, you allegedly threw said cast under the bus by calling them inferior in public. The book of “Grown Man” clearly states thou shalt not disrespect thine teammates and blame them for losing. It was your team. Win or lose, take the responsibility whether it was your fault or not.
As if that wasn’t enough, you brought a great amount of attention onto yourself when you had a chance to leave Orlando mid-season 2011-2012 and pretty much go wherever you wanted. You dragged that ordeal out and took someone’s advice to stay in a situation for no other reason than thinking it made you look like the good guy. All of this after saying you were staying, then leaving, then staying, then leaving within a couple of months. This 1-ring circus you alone created only prolonged the “Dwight Sweepstakes” and led to further scrutiny. Add to that, you tried to get your coach fired. And that story was made public. And you denied it.
Dude. You can’t clamor for attention then get mad because people pay attention.
Clauuuuude Ham’mercy. Violations all over the place.
Ok ok. Let’s move on to the L.A. saga. It was short but nothing was sweet about it.
Let’s see. Steve Nash, Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol. That’s a 2-time MVP, one of the best ever and arguably the most skilled Euro baller in the league. And you. All you had to do was buy in and hold down the block. Defend, clean the boards and take your low post touches wherever you got them. Because even you can admit that your offensive abilities are lacking. Right?
So you go in, play your role for a few years while learning to really lead and BOOM. L.A is yours. Not just the team…the city.
But no. That is just too much and somebody told you that you were being devalued.
While I can agree that the experiment did not go well with the Lakers, did you really give it a chance? I mean a real chance. Nope. Know why? I do.
There was one thing that happened at both the end of Orlando and Los Angeles.
You were challenged by a “Grown Man” and could not handle it.
Van Gundy wanted more from you. You got him fired and STILL left after that.
Kobe challenged you. You couldn’t deal and you decided to bounce from the place where champions are made.
The book of “Grown Man” tells you that men face challenges. And therein lies the problem.
You see Dwight, you were thrown into a grown man’s body while having the mind of a young boy. And I mean, that is understandable because you really WERE a young boy. So you had to try and act like a grown man before you were mentally ready. I know, I know. That is not fair. But nobody said life was fair.
Fast forward to July 2013. And maybe, just maybe, you have made a decision by yourself and for yourself.
Are you running from the limelight? Probably.
The only place better to hide than Houston would be San Antonio. And trust me, your act would not fly in San Antonio.
Will it work out for you in Houston? I doubt it.
You think that because James Harden is younger than you that he is gonna fold up and go down with a ship that you are running? lol
But only time will tell.
In the meantime, he is my suggestion:
Go see the Wizard.
Get a brain to think for yourself as a man.
Get some courage to overcome adversity as opposed to running from it.
Get a heart with a protective covering. While I can appreciate wearing one’s heart on his/her sleeve, you aren’t doing that. Maybe you think you are, but you aren’t.
What you are doing is responding to fandom and public outcry with emotion. Not the same thing.
And let’s keep it 100. Being a 7 foot tall physically dominant man and saying people talking about you ‘hurts your feelings’ just aint right.
In other words, Man the **** up and handle your business. It is not too late for you, kid.
P.S. That whole post-foul holding your hands out like you are incapable of fouling someone coupled with that look of shock and dismay???? Lose that.
Update: Since the original publishing of this open letter, Howard’s act has played out in Houston, Atlanta, Charlotte, and DC.
The sad part? Even today, he is not trash when he actually plays; but of the six teams he has played for in his whole career, his act has only lasted for more than a single season twice (Orlando, Houston).