Saturday, July 06, 2013

Not Our Problem Anymore

Dwight Howard is moving to the Houston Rockets. As a Lakers fan, I am relieved. Actually, I'm happy, despite the fact that D12's numbers are better than any other center in the league. The man has attitude and thinking problems that get in the way on the court. He's Houston's problem now.

It was obvious he did not like the situation in Los Angeles, but he was never honest and forthright about it because he is worried about what people think of him. He's the type that hides the essential problem and says nice things to fool people into thinking he's a nice guy and everything is everyone else's fault.

Throughout the "Dwightmare" in Orlando, when he was trying to leave the team without angering anyone -- in which he ended up angering everyone -- and throughout his time with the Lakers, he has shown himself more obsessed with his image than with his performance on court. Ayn Rand had a term for this mindset: social metaphysics. The social metaphysician puts what people think above reality; opinions and perception become reality for this type.

Dwight's famous "indecision" is actually his changing his story when people are angered by his last explanation. He thinks if he can just say the right words, he can make everyone love him -- regardless of whether those words correspond to reality.

It has been clear that he had decided long ago to leave the Los Angeles Lakers, but he has gone through this kabuki theatre of pretending to consider their offer -- and it was all a dishonest show intended to make people like him.

From ESPN:

A Lakers source in the team's pitch meeting for Howard last Tuesday said they felt Howard essentially had "made up his mind" before even meeting with them and described him as "emotionless."

"He would barely look us in the eye," the source said. 
Another Lakers source said "we felt like we were wasting our time" in the meeting.

Of course, they were wasting their time. Dwight wastes everyone's time because he wants everyone to love him.

It's impossible to know his real reasons for leaving. His statements are pure PR: they say what he thinks he should say to make him look good. His thinking is so twisted that at this point Dwight Howard might not even know why he does the things he does.

He is making a big deal of how he is accepting $30 million less in Houston, as if he is a noble soul above mere greed. This is BS because the difference in state taxes makes his paycheck about the same in Texas or California.

Here is a statement from Dwight:

"... This is an opportunity for me to write my own story," he said. "It's an opportunity for me to move forward, to change the perception of what other people have tried to make of me. It starts on the court with winning and that's what I'm doing. This is a fresh start for me. It's a clean slate. I get the opportunity to start from scratch and I'm going to make the most of it. I've been working all summer already to get my body, to get myself back right and getting ready for the next couple of years. I'm just looking forward to it."

So for some mysterious reason people have a misperception of Dwight -- which could not possibly be Dwight's fault -- and the poor dear has to move to Houston to get a "fresh start" and change the way everyone thinks about him.

Houston, you have a problem.

His greatest moment in the NBA came when he dressed up as Superman and won the slam dunk contest with an amazing throw down. When a guy that big can jump like that, it gets people's attention. But dressing up as Superman in an exhibition is not winning a championship any more than a circus clown is Laurence Olivier.

I think of another iconic moment: game four against the San Antonio Spurs, when Dwight Howard quit on his teammates and got himself kicked out of the game. As he walked off he passed the hobbling Kobe Bryant, who was coming out to the bench to show solidarity with his teammates.

Dwight Howard is a good player with a phenomenal body, but he will never be great. At 27 he has nowhere near the moves of a Kareem or Olajuwon. He is overrated in a time when there are not many good centers. I'm glad he's gone.