Dwight Howard: Magic Showing How Not to Handle a Disgruntled Star
Orlando’s front office should write a book.
How Not to Run an NBA Franchise for Dummies.
Alex Kennedy of Hoopsworld reported that the Magic are in denial once again. He wrote:
In recent days, the Magic have shifted their attention away from the ongoing trade talks and focused on persuading Howard to remain in Orlando. Hennigan and his staff will travel to Los Angeles later this week to meet face-to-face with Howard and deliver a presentation designed to persuade Howard to return to the Magic. Hennigan is determined to fix the strained relationship between the player and the organization, and he’s hopeful that Howard will resume his career in Orlando.
Orlando obviously doesn’t know how to take "no" for an answer.
Howard has changed his mind countless times over the past year, but he’s remained steadfast about one thing: He wants an opportunity to compete for a ring in a massive market. The Magic aren’t capable of providing him with that.
Believe it or not, the city's market isn't going to all of a sudden grow to the size of New York or Los Angeles. I know; it's difficult to comprehend. And in terms of the ability to compete, it’s amazing that they even won as many games as they did last season.
Outside of Howard, Ryan Anderson and J.J. Redick are the only players on Orlando’s roster that recorded player efficiency ratings of at least 15.0 last season—that’s the league average. And considering Anderson’s numbers plummeted in the playoffs, it’s safe to assume that he’s just a product of playing alongside D12.
Jameer Nelson, Orlando’s starting point guard, defines mediocrity. His assist-to-turnover ratio was ranked 27th among the league’s floor generals in 2012. The damage that Howard could do with a legitimate threat at the point running the pick-and-roll is unimaginable, but he’ll never get that with the Magic.
This summer, Hennigan signed Nelson to a three-year, $25.2 million contract. That’s more than Jeremy Lin’s deal, by the way. Downright brilliant: Overpay for a player that, according to sources, nearly fought Howard last season—that’ll win Superman over.
Back in late April, George Diaz of the Orlando Sentinel reported that Howard and the Magic had “trust issues beyond repair.” What's changed since then? Who knows?
Will Orlando ever deal D12?
After their trade deadline debacle, it seemed like the Magic had moved on—they finally saw the light and were determined to deal D12. But apparently not. Instead of ridding themselves of Howard and beginning an inevitable rebuilding process, they're still attempting to convince themselves that a non-existent hope to re-sign him remains.
Well, I guess those commercials are right. Denial is a drug. And the Magic are OD’ing on it.
David Daniels is a featured columnist at Bleacher Report and a syndicated writer.
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