Dwight Howard Trade Rumors: Blame the System, Not Dwight Howard

Ethan Sherwood StraussNBA Lead WriterMarch 15, 2012

ORLANDO, FL - MARCH 13:  Dwight Howard #12 of the Orlando Magic reacts to a missed free-throw during the game against the Miami Heat at Amway Center on March 13, 2012 in Orlando, Florida.  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 Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

And so the saga ends, at least for another year. Dwight Howard has signed an extension with the Orlando Magic through 2013. But, if and when we get back to this place of examining Dwight's every whim, don't blame Dwight Howard for it. 

The free agency madness made him the source of some mockery, often via anonymous source. He was an embarrassing, silly, immature clown, as the narrative went and as it will go.

What we’re ignoring is how natural it is for a person to waffle on a decision of this magnitude. Indecisive free agents do this across all sports, or as Dwight put it: “Everybody goes through this. The only difference is, mine was being put out there."

The main reason we obsessed over Dwight Howard is because he plays within a system that amplifies his value to a team. If basketball lacked a “max” contract restriction, Dwight would not animate any grand gold rush.

Orlando may well have looked at Howard, decided against paying him 60 million dollars per year, and just moved on. Same goes for the fans who currently fret over the Magic center’s future whereabouts. The educated among them might conclude that Orlando would be smarter for paying someone else. 

Since NBA superstars can only be compensated up to a certain amount, they are the best value in all of sports. Losing Dwight would be a devastating blow to the Magic, and an incredible boon to whoever snags him. We all grasp this either consciously or subconsciously, and it fuels a situation wherein every Howard movement is watched, parsed and rebroadcast.

This is not Dwight Howard’s fault.

He did not create the collective bargaining agreement. He did not create the 24-hour news cycle. He did not foster a confusing system in which the most interesting “news” is funneled to us via conflicting anonymous sources. He’s just indecisive.

Sure, Howard may be a bit of a clown, but he is not the architect of the circus that surrounds his every twist and turn on the miniature bicycle.