If one thing stands out above everything else in the Dwight Howard Circus, it is that his ego is as big as his shoulders are broad. Even though it doesn’t seem he is getting his way with the proposed trade to the Brooklyn Nets off the table, he has to enjoy the fact that his name is said on Sportscenter as many times as Ozzie Guillen said a variation of the F word during “The Franchise” on Showtime.
He is dead set on playing for the Nets. If he gets traded anywhere else, he has already stated his intention to refuse a long term deal and sign with Brooklyn when he is a free agent. But the question is, why?
First, there are some things about Dwight Howard. He is more than likely surrounded by a whole lot of people who get a lot of benefit from telling Dwight what he wants to hear. The other thing is, Dwight is seems as intelligent as a Roddy White Tweet. When you combine those two things, you have a dangerous combination prone to making bad decisions.
So why is it Brooklyn or nothing?
There are three teams making significant plays for his services, Brooklyn, the Houston Rockets and the Los Angeles Lakers.
Deron Williams and Joe Johnson are excellent ball players, but adding Dwight Howard to that mix does not automatically make them a superteam to rival the Miami Heat.
If Howard went to the Rockets, he would make a fringe playoff team the last several years into a solid 4 or 5 seed. Basically, he would make them the Orlando Magic of the West. Now consider that they just amnestied Luis Scola and would be able to sign another max player next summer, the prospect of Chris Paul might entice him to stay and make them a formidable team in the West.
As a better option, you have the Los Angeles Lakers. A team of Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash and Dwight Howard that also has Pau Gasol and Metta World Peace? That team would be favored in the west (along with Oklahoma City) and wouldn’t have to run into the Heat until the finals.
So what do the Nets have to offer that Los Angeles, Houston and even Orlando can’t offer?
Quick, name the greatest center in New Jersey Nets franchise history.
You would hope Dwight Howard wouldn’t be so shallow to base his decision on an individual legacy, but this is Dwight Howard we are talking about. Is it really that farfetched to think that he would want to be known as the greatest center in franchise history, regardless of what franchise it was?
In Houston, he has the shadow of Hakeem Olajuwon’s two NBA titles an MVP and a long list of humanitarian deeds across Africa, most of which involve helping kids (something Dwight doesn’t know too much about). As an added bonus, Olajuwon also played his college ball in the city. You could also make an argument that Howard wouldn’t even be number two, thanks to Moses Malone.
On the Lakers, he would rank even lower. I see him at number five behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain, George Mikan and Shaquille O’Neal, who might be the biggest reason Howard won’t end up in purple and gold.
You have an affable superstar with a massive ego who brought the Orlando Magic to the cusp of a championship only to leave for Los Angeles to combine forces with Kobe Bryant to make a championship run or two.
Can Dwight’s ego handle the fact that his narrative would not be his own?
Of course not.
The only realistic shot he has at joining a team with no legacy at center that might become a championship contender is the Brooklyn Nets.
Or he could just be a big Jay-Z fan.
Who knows what’s going on inside the mind of Dwight Howard?