Orlando Magic: Dwight Howard Drama Will Hurt Big Man's Case for MVP

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Orlando Magic: Dwight Howard Drama Will Hurt Big Man's Case for MVP
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

If Dwight Howard had any aspirations of being named the 2012 NBA MVP, he can pretty much kiss those dreams goodbye after all the drama that has arisen this season, most recently with his coach in Stan Van Gundy.

Early on in the year, Howard was constantly in the spotlight for his indecision of his future, not being able to pick between being traded or staying in Orlando for the time being.

While this situation continued to dwell upon the franchise, as well as becoming a constant storyline for anyone following the league, D12 decided, in the end, that he wanted to stay with the Magic, stating "I'm loyal. That's just who I am. That's my nature."

Following this entire situation, Howard was central to a situation reported by the New York Post, that Howard and other Magic players were partying out in New York till 3 a.m. the night before their game with the New York Knicks. They fell to the Knicks that next night 108-86.

While it's a stretch to call this behavior not being loyal to the team's fan base, one could argue Howard's loyalty could be in question.

Now, his loyalty to his coach should be in question, too.

As of late, there has been a whole new case of drama surrounding the possibility of Howard telling upper management that he wants Van Gundy removed as head coach, something the long-time coach made clear he was aware of.

The situation pretty much explains itself, but in the end it is just another issue surrounding Howard this season.

While these issues are not court related—considering Howard is scoring 20.6 PPG while grabbing 14.4 boards—they overshadow his success in the game and will ultimately hurt his chances of winning the MVP this season.

The team is slipping too, losing their last five games. That has resulted in them sitting sixth in the conference, three spots down from where they were almost a week ago.

Is Howard totally to blame?

Absolutely not, but he is the star of the team and people look to him to make sure the Magic are heading into the right direction—especially with the playoffs around the corner.

Has Howard Already Lost the 2012 MVP Race?

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If the Magic's season continues to collapse, and the drama ensues, the likelihood of Howard claiming his first MVP title won't likely be in 2012.

He still stands competition for the award with the likes of Kevin Durant of Oklahoma City Thunder and the Miami Heat's LeBron James, but he is pretty much taking himself out of contention with everything as of late.

It will remain to be seen what will come of the latest drama surrounding the big man and Van Gundy, but if this relationship continues the turmoil for the Magic, not only will Howard likely lose out on a chance at MVP, but he may just let his team and city down in the progress.

 

Jeff Chase is a Featured Columnist for the Chicago Cubs and Arizona State football.

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