Dwight Howard vs. the Orlando Magic: The Dark Dwight Rises, Friend or Foe?

Daniel Boston@NBAReportingAnalyst IINovember 17, 2016

These past months have been full of colorful descriptions to describe Dwight Howard and his never-ending journey to greener pastures: Diva, "The Dwightmare" and my personal favorite, "The Indecision."

While many fans and experts analyze Dwight Howard's shortcomings, my observations have led me down a different road. Like the salmon that swims upstream against the water's pull, my thoughts starkly contrast with popular opinion. 

Thus, we have before us now the case for Dwight Howard vs. the Orlando Magic.

In Christopher Nolan's newest film, The Dark Knight Rises, Batman was widely perceived by many to be an enemy and foe to Gotham City.

Likewise, Howard is perceived much in the same way: An NBA villain who possesses the superpowers to hold an NBA team hostage and bring them down in the process.

But, is Batman really Gotham's foe? Furthermore, is Dwight Howard the league-wide archenemy? 

The Orlando Magic certainly have lost all leverage in their attempts to receive max compensation for Howard, but they possess all the leverage in the world when it comes to the only thing still hanging by a thread: Dwight Howard's image.

It is certainly true that Howard had (past-tense) his share of mistakes and flip-flops. Instead of handling his free agency like a professional should (see Steve Nash), he blew like a leaf in the wind.

During breakfast, he wanted to be an Orlando Magic lifer, and by dinner, it was Brooklyn or nada.

When dessert came, he was back in Orlando's corner.

But, that was in February, and this is now.

Howard is clearly seeking a quick resolution to the the ugly situation he has played a part in creating, except there is one problem:

The Orlando Magic hold all the cards.

Admittedly, Dwight Howard played the beginning role in self-destructing his once-lovable Superman image, but now, Orlando is feasting on the opportunity to eliminate any good the public eye still may see.

As days pass and weeks turn to months, Howard is held hostage by the very team he once held captive. As trade rumors and possibilities come and go, the chains that hold Howard tighten their grip.

Is Orlando GM Rob Hennigan truly holding out for a better deal or is he allowing revenge to sink its teeth in Howard's neck?

Let's do a quick overview on some recent events, and then may the people decide who is truly to blame for this chaotic fiasco.

On July 10, 2012, the Brooklyn Nets, longtime favorites in the Dwight Howard sweepstakes, had a packaged deal put together that included four teams and 12 players.

Orlando was slated to receive Brook Lopez, multiple draft picks and young prospects along with a clean slate in cap space. The deal progressed to where Howard and Lopez's medical records were exchanged. 

The dominoes seemed to be lined up, but then Orlando unexpectedly pulled out of the deal.

Brooklyn then re-signed Lopez and Kris Humphries to multiple-year deals, effectively withdrawing themselves from the rat race.

One must begin to wonder what Orlando's true intentions really were, especially since it was reported that Hennigan was pleading with Howard to commit long-term to Orlando only hours after the trade was turned down.

Did Orlando truly pursue a blockbuster trade in hopes of a deal being finalized, or was it all a facade to manipulatively lure Howard back in?

Furthermore, whose image took yet another hit when Howard turned Hennigan's pleas away?

Also, to add fuel to the fire, Orlando has been frustrating all of its potential trade partners. It was reported that Hennigan would change his terms at the last minute, thus causing each potential trade to fall through.

Is Howard creating a nightmare for America or does Hennigan have an inability to negotiate in good faith, rooted from a motive of manipulation and deceit?

A source was quoted from Brooklyn after the trade fell through and was reported by Ric Bucher of ESPN:

"We've moved on. It just got to a point where we couldn't keep going back and forth with Orlando," a Nets source told ESPNNewYork.com's Ian O'Connor. "They had about 14 days to do something and didn't. We just had to move on, and we felt that way this morning."

In summary, we had a trade that involved four teams and 12 players. Negotiations got so far that medical records were exchanged.

Imagine the time and effort that went into bringing a deal of gigantic proportions such as this one to near-reality. And then, when everything was all set to happen, agreements were changed at the last minute.

A deal was struck, hands had probably been shaken. And, it was all wasted in the last minutes.

Swallow that pill for a minute.

Dwight Howard was on his way to Brooklyn, until Hennigan back pedaled on a trade he never intended on agreeing to.

And now, fast forward a week later and the Los Angeles Lakers are dealing with the same exact thing.

As quoted by Sam Amico of FoxSportsOhio:

Mostly, what seems to be the sticking point in this deal is not an agent or player, but the indecisiveness of the Magic — and their new GM, Rob Hennigan. According to sources, the Magic have frustrated potential trading partners by continuously changing terms at the last minute. This supposedly dates back to their dealings with the Nets a few weeks back, when Nets GM Billy King felt an agreement that would send Howard to Brooklyn had been finalized, sources said.

Is it possible that Orlando has groomed hatred for its once lovable star and is attempting to destroy him in the midst of relocation?

While rumors flip and fly on an almost daily basis, fans grow angrier with Howard based on every reported change.

Poor Dwight Howard takes the responsibility and blunt for the very thing that is out of his control. If it were up to him, I can assure you he would be wearing a Lakers uniform by now.

For that matter, he would probably be thrilled to suit up for the Charlotte Bobcats, Cleveland Cavaliers or Washington Wizards...anywhere but the Orlando Magic.

Yet, Hennigan works his newly gained power by humiliating Howard from the inside-out.

Wake up America, the DNA and forensics do not lie!

The circumstantial evidence clearly points to the truly guilty suspect.

Yes, Howard once acted like a baby, but has since gotten a grip and shifted gears to damage control. Unfortunately for him, it may now be too late.

Word has it, that Howard is now excited at the possibility of playing for the Lakers. Not only that, but he would even re-up once his current contract expires.

Of course, Howard's agent, Dan Fegan, refuted these reports. 

Fegan was not denying Howard's desire to play in Los Angeles, but rather was protecting his client from any severe penalties that could arise, as talks between a team and its trade target are forbidden.

Now, the ball is in Orlando's court. In the same way Howard was once open to Brooklyn, he has now expressed the same desire for Los Angeles.

Will Rob Hennigan continue in his patterns of deceit and slander?

As persistent as the Lakers are, how long will they negotiate in good faith, before surrendering and laying down their hopes of resolution?

The Lakers are the last remaining team that could orchestrate a decent deal the Magic's way. And, with Howard's newfound interest in Los Angeles, he has somewhat unbound the very chains that were holding him hostage in Orlando.

Bynum expressed interest in Cleveland, Howard in Los Angeles. Where do Hennigan's interests lie?

Dwight Howard - Friend or foe?

Rob Hennigan - Guilty or not?

You be the judge.




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