Dwight Howard Trade Rumors: Orlando Star Is One Step Away from 'The Decision'

Joye PruittSenior Analyst IFebruary 1, 2012

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - DECEMBER 25:  Dwight Howard #12 of the Orlando Magic questions a call during the NBA season opening game against the Oklahoma City Thunder December 25, 2011 at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.  Oklahoma City defeated Orlando 97-89. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Brett Deering/Getty Images)
Brett Deering/Getty Images

Everyone wants to play with Dwight Howard. In recent weeks, even with Derrick Rose’s inability to recruit as Dwyane Wade did with LeBron James and Chris Bosh (or vice versa), Howard has spoken out about the desire to play with the Chicago Bulls.

“If I could play with Derrick right now and God wanted that to happen, it will happen,” Howard told the Tribune. “It has nothing to do with me not wanting to play with Derrick Rose. I love him. That’s my brother.”

As you can see, it was one of those “Eh, I’d love to play with the kid, but I can’t say that out loud or everyone will hate me” moments in Dwight Howard’s career. Unfortunately, those are being more abundant in a shorter span of time as the trade deadline vastly approaches. Howard’s smile first, play later approach is being put on the backburner as he consistently spouts the idea that he will no longer be playing in an Orlando jersey, and on his own accord.

Would Orlando love to keep him? Does Dan Gilbert still dream about LeBron James coming back to resurrect his franchise?

Hell yes!

Needless to say, with the Orlando Magic’s sparse showing of potential with the men in place and Howard’s continuous bombardment of their commitment to the common goal of winning it all, Dwight is further out of the door than any Orlando exec may be willing to admit right now.

One of the biggest problems with his exit is that it will be met with much of the disdain that LeBron James was met with when he decided to participate in “The Decision,” which aired on ESPN. Coating the announcement by saying that all contributions would be donated to the Boys & Girls Club meant nothing to the millions of fans that felt jilted and abandoned at the altar.

This was not just Cleveland fans. It was NY Knicks fans who lobbied for James to be their new poster boy of redemption and success. It was Chicago fans who thought LeBron would be the ideal ying to Derrick Rose’s yang. It was the millions of NBA fans who felt it was unfair that one superstar was paired up with another because it was legal in the league to do so.

What exactly does Dwight Howard think is going to happen after he has taken time out to spew multiple, desirable destinations? That Orlando fans and the rest of the fans league-wide are just going to sit back as another superstar takes his future into his own hands. If the perception of his actions is more than half the battle in how he will be treated, then Howard is failing miserably.

For months now, Howard has been reported through the media belittling his teammates, questioning his coach’s direction and doing everything else but plainly stating, “I WANT TO GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE!”

So, whenever the dust settles in Orlando and Dwight Howard has moved on to greener pastures, how will he be approached? How will he be criticized?

If history has taught us anything, it is that the reaction is never solely due to what you have done. It is primarily based on how you do it. Dwight Howard is making his exit from the franchise noisy and messy.

There is no doubt that if he continues, he will infuriate fans of all franchises. Of course all those except for where he lands.


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