Yeah, I'm talking to you.
Dear Mr. Howard of the Orlando Magic,
I hope you haven't forgotten that you are still a member of the Orlando Magic. Even if you have, I'd like to remind you, because the way you are acting is childish, selfish and a disgrace to the sport.
You are an immensely talented player—there's no doubt about that. Many would argue and pretty successfully, I might add, that you are the most dominant center since Shaquille O'Neal. Up until now, you've been considered one of the genuine good guys of basketball. The guy who was just happy to be playing basketball. Now, though, you've alienated a fanbase and are slowly alienating every single NBA fan whose team you don't land on.
When you said you wanted to be traded, I was fine with that. When you denied that it was true, and proved it by picking up your option, thus delaying your free agency, I applauded it. You put your money where your mouth was and showed a loyalty that seemed to have been lost in the past 10 years. Now, though, you reopened your trade demands and are refusing to commit to anywhere but one team. Something doesn't quite add up.
You continue to profess your love for the city of Orlando and their fans, yet you've made it painfully clear that no amount of money will make you stay. You continue to want to remain the good guy.
Wait! That's it! You want to be the good guy! That's why you picked up that option! It all makes sense. Well, let me tell you something, Mr. Howard. Good guys don't trash the team that drafted them and then deny them the opportunity to get the best package of players by refusing to go anywhere but Brooklyn. It's the NBA—it's impossible to be liked by everybody.
Which is worse?
LeBron took a lot of heat (no pun intended) for what he did and deservedly so. But what you're doing, sir, is far worse. Stop this trend of power players dictating the game. Stop acting like a spoiled three-year-old who didn't get the Christmas present he wanted. Stop playing the victim card, and remember that you get paid to play a game.
Or don't do any of that. But for the love of John Wooden, stop pretending like you're still the good guy. Because you're not.
A former Dwight Howard fan