The National Basketball Association is the top tier basketball league in all of North America. The level of competition in this league makes it the premier league in the world. But when the talent shifts to a handful of teams, the balance of competitiveness is ruined and the integrity of the game destroyed.
However, most players float around from team to team. It is actually quite rare to see the majority of players stick it out with one franchise. Having said that, superstars, such as Dwight Howard, are held to a different standard.
The Orlando Magic drafted Howard No.1 overall in the 2004 NBA Draft. They invested lots of money in the high schooler from the Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy and built the franchise around him. Howard was the all-star, the center-piece of the team. Role players and veterans were added to Orlando to surround Howard with experience and to keep him happy.
But how can a small market team keep a greedy and selfish player happy?
Howard has butted heads with the franchise that adores him on several occasions. Before the 2012 NBA season, Dwight Howard demanded a trade, but he was stuck in Orlando. Poor Dwight.
Howard then cried to owner Rich DeVos because he didn't want to play for coach Stan Van Gundy. Howard claimed those reports were false. But coach Van Gundy said team officials had confirmed the news to him and that he felt very uncomfortable as the coach. So at the end of the day, the Magic stayed loyal to the man they invested their trust and money to and fired their coach. And then Howard claims he had nothing to do with the firing? Grow up, Dwight.
General manager Otis Smith departed from the franchise as well. Dwight Howard got his coach and general manager out of town. The Orlando Magic did what they thought they had to do to keep Howard in Orlando. And after all of the changes and efforts to keep him happy, he demands another trade? Shame on you, Dwight.
What is even more sickening is that Howard is telling the Magic exactly where he wants to go: Brooklyn. How Howard had the audacity to tell the Magic he wants out and where he wants to go is amazingly disrespectful. The team has done nothing but try to keep him happy and keep him in Orlando. Though Howard has the right to change teams if desired, the way he is treating the Magic is disgusting.
If Howard goes to the Nets, chances are Deron Williams and Jason Kidd will be there. Obviously, this makes the team more marketable and attractive for upcoming free agents. Howard could make Brooklyn a destination. But in the process, he could be destroying the game.
The NBA has been dominated by a handful of teams since 2000, most notably the Lakers and the San Antonio Spurs. At least those franchises did things the right way by drafting their talent or by acquiring it at reasonable measures. The Miami Heat showed how greedy current players are. Chris Bosh and LeBron James teamed up with Dwyane Wade down in South Beach. There reasoning was to better their chances of winning a title. Obviously a team who signs three players to $107 million plus contracts will have a shot at a title.
The Heat shifted the way players think and teams compete. Cleveland and Toronto haven't been playoff contenders since their superstars left. The hope of the small markets has been ruined. More and more players are joining a select number of stacked teams which will ultimately destroy the game. If the stars are joining up on a few teams then the rest of the league can't compete with them.
Dwight Howard has no respect for the Orlando Magic and what they have done for him. He is walking all over the franchise and sadly enough, the Magic are letting him. Their hopes of keeping him in Orlando have vanished. They can't provide the money and superstars that a team like Brooklyn can. It is very sad to see a player cutting loyalties to chase money and join all-stars.
The bottom line is that Dwight Howard is a selfish and greedy player who has destroyed the state of a franchise in pursuit of a trade. And if he doesn't get traded, he can walk away into free agency after this season to collect his money. Several other players are teaming up and joining forces for the sake of dominance.
And it is destroying the integrity of the game.