Dwight Howard: Why the Brooklyn Nets Are the NBA's New Bad Guys?

Joye PruittSenior Analyst IJuly 11, 2012

ORLANDO, FL - MARCH 13:  A fan holds a sign in support of Dwight Howard #12 of the Orlando Magic 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)
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Deron Williams and Dwight Howard have been talking about playing together for years, according to CBS Sports.

"We've talked about playing together for years," Williams said, calling the opportunity to team up "a big part" of why Howard has requested that he be traded to Brooklyn.

If memory resolves us correctly, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade were both criticized for having had conversations like these prior to the 2010 summer free agency frenzy. Cleveland Cavaliers’ owner Dan Gilbert even wanted to do everything but sue them for royalties when he heard of a “plan” that had been laid out prior to ESPN’s “The Decision”.

Yet, no one is in awe of D. Will as he laid out that this was all in the works. It’s even why Dwight Howard consistently demands his way to Brooklyn. Whether his ploy works or not, in abandoning his prior franchise in such as diabolical and idiotic fashion, he’s put a target on his back.

So did Williams.

The Brooklyn Nets are not going to be the franchise that everyone cheers for. Deron Williams and the Nets are going to be the league’s newest bad guys. Not the bad boys, because not a single soul in the league will fear them. Fans will hate them.

They may not care now, but soon enough fans will take a step back and recognize the hypocrisy in their support of Brooklyn. Everyone hated the Miami Heat for putting powerhouses together to form a “superteam.”

They had the best player in the league, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade, the second-best shooting guard in the league, both bonafide superstars. There is also Chris Bosh, although he’s looked at as somewhat of a third wheel. His absence proved his worth plenty throughout the 2012 NBA Playoffs.

Are Deron Williams and Dwight Howard scrubs? This all lies on whether or not Howard lands with the Brooklyn Nets, but if he does, how much firepower do the Nets hold?

Deron Williams is the second-best point guard in the league, arguably. Some may argue that he is No.1, but Chris Paul is not out of this rabbit race. His eye for competition and his crunch time influence on the floor trumps Williams.

Paul turned the New Orleans Hornets into contenders, at least in the first round of last year’s playoffs. He changed the entire scope of the Los Angeles Clippers, who have transformed from Lob City to honest competitors.

Williams is still one of the best the league has to offer.

Dwight Howard? Is he not the best center in the league?

Although he has the potential to be far greater than his ignorance portrays, Howard is the most athletic center and equally as offensively influential as he is defensively. Superman still needs to figure out some sort of mid-range shot and he could spend a summer or two at the foul line.

Howard may be a one-trick pony, but his tricks have afforded the Orlando Magic playoff berths, even if they weren’t past the first round.

Joe Johnson? No heart and no aggression throughout a game. It’s understandable to feel that way. Atlanta must have. Seasons of overpaying a shooter with zero spirit must have frustrated the franchise, especially Josh Smith. Yet, his ability to score on the perimeter is everything that Williams needs it to be.

During his time last season, Williams’ greatest plea was for a player that could relinquish some of the offensive responsibility from his shoulders. His ideal role was with a team where he could function as a point guard, not a team’s primary trigger man.

Johnson is his trigger man and a darned dependable one at that.

So, here you have the three stars, or two depending on how the Orlando Magic fair in this summer’s offseason. Each star is respectable in his right and plays his own role. Still, this is not where the franchise ends.

With the Miami Heat, they were ousted from society with seemingly three solid pieces and a bunch of questionable role players. The Brooklyn Nets would have not only D. Will, Howard and Johnson, but Gerald Wallace’s hustle is including on this roster as well.

NBA Insider Adrian Wojnarowski reported via Twitter that the Nets reached a 4-year, $40 million contract with Wallace on July 1, as first reported by NY Post. Wallace is Brooklyn’s hustle man.

If Brooklyn ever needs an injection of the grind and dirty work it takes to win championships, Wallace is the first man they will look towards. He will not be their enforcer, as Udonis Haslem was during the Indiana-Miami second round series in the 2012 NBA Playoffs.

Yet, he will be the chaser, the rebounder through traffic and the fall into the stands guy while trying to inbound and keep a play alive. Wallace is that defensive presence that completes the Nets power plan in the East.

Therefore the question stands. If everyone hated Miami, for how much they had at their core, while they seemingly had so little outside of it, isn’t it logical to expect everyone to hate Brooklyn more?

They are coming together with one man making a circus-like exit out of the city that drafted him. Howard caused Orlando far more anxiety than LeBron did and he carried his monstrosities throughout the season, causing his franchise a major distraction.

It only makes sense to hate the Nets because of it—if Howard makes it.