Due to his constant waffling on where he would like to play basketball next season, Howard has taken plenty of flak from NBA fans, the media and his peers. His indecision over the last six months has not only hurt his reputation, but has also hurt the image of the NBA.
Charles Barkely, who has never shied away from stating his opinion is just one NBA personality who is fed up with the Howard trade saga (via USA Today):
The last 24 hours it's been all Dwight Howard, non-stop, Barkley said. It's not fun; nobody wants to hear it. It's not good for the game, not good for the fans. I'm really sick of it.
Forget the last 24 hours, how about the last six months? First it was Brooklyn, then Los Angeles, then Houston, and now it's Los Angeles again.
The high volume of rumors regarding what team wants Howard is inevitable considering the star power of the big man. However, what has really irked people is Howard's indecision on where he would like to and be willing to play.
In the big picture, this Howard mess is hurting the NBA. Over the last couple of years, the league has dealt with stars putting their teams in undesirable spots, numerous "superteams" forming and the commissioner playing matchmaker.
Perhaps the most annoying detail of the whole story is the fact that back in May, Howard decided to not opt-out of his contract and become a free agent. He was seemingly committed to the Orlando Magic and was satisfied with his decision. Just a couple of months later, he requested to be traded from the Orlando.
The opportunity to become a free agent and choose his team—something Howard so desperately covets—was there for the taking. So if Howard wants out of Orlando so badly, why would he opt-in for the 2012-2013 season?
The answer—who knows.
Howard's attitude has been nothing short of childish and has hurt his once-envious reputation among fans. At this point, the only group that will have a favorable view of Howard is the fans of whichever team he ends up with. Even then, they may simply put up with his attitude in return for his on-court production.
No matter which destination is Howard's last, the trigger needs to be pulled by the Magic. The sooner they move him, the sooner they can begin their rebuilding process, and everyone can get on with the rest of their lives.
For now, it's Brett Favre-watch 2.0, as every day brings new rumors to this exhausting trade saga.