Dwight Howard to Lakers Proves We Gained Absolutely Nothing from Lockout

Sam QuinnContributor IIIAugust 9, 2012

ESPN's Marc Stein reported earlier tonight that Dwight Howard is set to join the Los Angeles Lakers in a blockbuster deal.

The reported package the Magic are getting in return? Moe Harkless, Nikola Vucevic, Al Harrington and three first-round picks. 

Congratulations Orlando, you managed to trade the league's best center for around eight cents on the dollar. I'm not here to bash Orlando, though, plenty of others will do that.

No, I'm here to criticize the NBA owners and players' association. The underlying theme of the lockout we had to endure last summer and fall was that small-market owners were tired of being pushed around and playing on an uneven playing field.

Mediocre players were getting too much money, players had too much power to force their way to new teams, and big-market teams simply had an unfair advantage. 

Well, we knew the owners lost the mediocre player battle somewhere between Omer Asik getting $25.1 million and JaVale McGee getting $44 million. But teams like Orlando could at least take solace in the fact that they'd never get "LeBron'd" right?

Wrong. Dwight Howard just spent the past year doing everything short of claiming he was blackmailed (oh wait, he did that) in order to get traded. This is a guy so classless that he is actually skipping his own youth basketball camp (where many children paid money to see him) in order to "rehab his back."

Really Dwight? Because not only have you been seen at Dodgers games, but you also played in the recent Adidas Nations tournament. 

And now we're not only rewarding him by sending him to one of his choice destinations, but we're letting the Lakers, Nuggets and Sixers get away with highway robbery to do it?


As much as David Stern was criticized for vetoing the Chris Paul trade, at least New Orleans would have received some real assets. This Howard deal is roughly the equivalent of the Jets trading three fourth-round picks, Quinton Coples and Jeremy Kerley for Aaron Rodgers.

What's next? Is the league going to sell Kyrie Irving to the Knicks to fill their hole at point guard? Or is that too obvious? Maybe instead they'll just force Minnesota to trade Kevin Love to the Nets for Kris Humphries and cash considerations.

The era of the super-team is just getting out of hand. Remember how some experts wondered if all of the talent would end up on five or six teams, leaving everyone else to fight for the scraps? Well...

Ten of the league's 15 All-NBA players play for five teams (the Knicks, Clippers, Lakers, Heat and Thunder). Seventeen of the league's 24 All-Stars in 2012 play for one of said five teams or the NBA's three other marquee franchises: Boston, Chicago and Brooklyn. 

We've reached the point of no return. Big-market teams like the Knicks and Nets can continually remain in contention despite horrible management, while teams like Cleveland and Orlando can build true contenders only to watch them get destroyed by the whims of one player. Does someone want to tell me how that's fair?

If things like "competitive balance" and "parity" meant anything to David Stern, the commissioner would have already vetoed this trade. It's clear that those things never meant anything to the league.

Now the NBA gets another super-team, which means more money in the owners' pockets and more disappointed fans in a small market. I thought we almost just lost an entire season to prevent this sort of thing. Turns out, it was meant to encourage it. 

Next June we're all going to be stuck rooting for either Dwight Howard and Kobe Bryant (not exactly the epitome of class in his own right) or LeBron James and Dwyane Wade (who won this spring's ultimate jerk award somewhere between this and this) in the NBA Finals. 

Great. I think I'll go watch the WNBA. I wonder if there's room on Diana Taurasi's bandwagon...