As far as popularity goes, the Orlando Magic's superstar center Dwight Howard has been on the decline in the past few months. From will he or won't he stay, to where will he end up, the entire situation has the public weary and impatiently waiting for a conclusion.
Howard will have a ways to go to repair his standing with the public. Here is how he can redeem his self-image next season.
One reason Howard has gotten himself into this media mess is because he does not speak for himself as much as he should. Many of the trade reports and talk come from mainly rumors.
If Howard or his agent were to come out and confirm some of the information, people would not be tired of hearing so many conflicting reports. Next season, he should not focus on saying the right things—he should just focus on saying what needs to be said.
Wherever Howard lands, he must commit to a long-term deal—that is the only way this soap opera will end. If he gets traded, and after all this still refuses to sign to a long-term deal, he will only be disliked more.
Nobody will want to go through this again a year from now.
The main reason Howard is in this situation now is because he has not been able to make up his mind, and when he does, it always too late. Howard needs to make a decision and must be able to stand by it.
Howard has gotten his way in Orlando. The Magic have tried to do everything to make Howard stay, and he still wants to leave.
Howard forced head coach Stan Van Gundy out of town, and GM Otis Smith was also let go in hopes that Howard would be content. Those attempts failed.
Whichever team Howard ends up on, he will have to be more professional and not complain about his coach's criticism. That will score big with his teammates and fans will be glad not to hear reports about him clashing with his coach in the media.
Winning cures everything. As long as Howard can play well and lead his team to the top, his image will be right back intact.
If he were to end up on the Los Angeles Lakers, pressure would be on him to deliver and to just shut up and play. The Lakers would more than likely be the favorites, so losing would be disappointing.
If Howard can fulfill the reason behind all of this commotion, which is winning a championship, this will all become part of the past.