He has done more damage to the Orlando Magic than LeBron James ever did to the Cleveland Cavaliers. The worst part about the situation is that Howard is still a part of the franchise and can do more damage with his future actions.
LeBron will always be a villain in many people’s eyes. From being an Ohio kid who didn’t go to college and falling into the lap of the Cavaliers to being public enemy number one, the road for James has been polar opposites. Fans watched James take his role from hero to heel.
Doing “The Decision” and “The Celebration” was a bad move, which James has admitted repeatedly. Honestly, though, the media and fans were clamoring for it, so he gave us what we demanded. For multiple years, there was coverage about LeBron’s free agency journey. Unlike Dwight, James was stoic about commenting on where and when he would go during his actual playing career in Cleveland.
That has not been the case for Dwight Howard.
It seems that Dwight’s smile and the twinkle of his eye can kill bad PR like a superhero.
From the constant waffling of what he really wants to do, rumors of him calling for Stan Van Gundy’s job and his lack of effort on the floor you would think that fans would start to question him as much as they persecute LeBron. James did have one playoff game where he took his foot off the gas pedal to show how much he was needed in Cleveland, but for the most part, he was close to averaging a triple-double.
Unlike LeBron, Dwight Howard has expressed his interest in doing movies and being an entertainer. While LeBron is very much aware of his “brand,” his play on the court speaks for itself. His profile is based on basketball first and foremost.
Why don’t fans call out Howard for losing focus on his real career? If Howard was in a big-market city, would that still be the case?
Many casual fans only knew of Dwight Howard after his win at the 2008 Slam Dunk Contest where he wore a Superman cape trying to entertain. Many question if it was even a dunk at all or just a hyped up lay-up. If LeBron tried to pull that off, he would be made a mockery of with many spoofs and satire from entertainers and media alike.
I think why James has gotten so much flack compared to Dwight is due likely to his talent and potential. He was already being compared to Magic and Michael early in his career unlike Dwight who doesn’t even dominate on the offensive end and is already dealing with injury issues.
Howard might be all smiles when the camera is on, but how he acts behind the scenes is highly questionable if any of the media rumors have teeth.
It seems as if Dwight Howard has gotten a pass from the media and fans so far. While Dwight is still developing his game and image, LeBron is building momentum toward another run at the NBA Finals with all the drama of Cleveland behind him. How long will it be until Howard receives the same criticism of his problematic issues?
LeBron is hot in Miami, while Dwight is giving Orlando the cold shoulder.