After watching Stephen A. Smith‘s interview with the new center for the Houston Rockets, Dwight Howard, I can’t help but scratch my head. Let’s start from the beginning.
Dwight states that Houston was the best place for him to grow as a person, and as a player. And I agree with him. The Lakers failed to give Dwight a supporting cast that can help him win, or even contend for a championship.
When you have players like, Antawn Jamison, Jodie Meeks, Chris Duhon and Darius Morris, you’re not going anywhere.
Now, I doubt that Dwight wanted LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony and other all-star players on his team this year, but still, a mediocre supporting cast puts him back in the situation that he was in while playing for the Orlando Magic. So, I can agree that Houston offered better players, a better coach, and a city that will love him no matter what. Everyone knows if you’re in Los Angeles, it’s championship or bust. Obviously he (Dwight) couldn’t take the heat, so he got out of the kitchen.
He states that the wrong way to go about winning a championship is trying to prove everyone else wrong. He literally couldn’t be any further from the truth.
What do you think drove LeBron to appear in three straight championships, and win two of them? The media saying that he wasn’t clutch and that he didn’t have what it takes to win the big one just added fuel to LeBron’s fire. It drove him to go out there and dominate everyone and every team that tried to stand in his way. And that has always been Dwight’s problem. He’s Mr. Happy-go-lucky off and on the court and you can’t be that way. Yes, Magic Johnson always smiled, but that was off the court. He always said, off the court he was Ervin – which was the happy, charming guy – but on the court he was Magic, the 6’9″ point guard whose overwhelming skills and power made even the game’s greats look like amateurs.
That’s what separates the good from the great. The ability to “turn it on”. I hate to say it, but Dwight hasn’t been able to do that in about two years.
Later in the interview, Dwight says that he is not a crybaby. You know what Dwight? YOU ARE! If you have to keep saying it to everyone then it’s pretty obvious that you haven’t convinced yourself that you’re not a crybaby. You’re not a team player. You’re a self centered whiner who just is looking out for himself. If you look at the interview, you will hear him say, “Phil would be good for me” and “I left for me” – everything that he talks about is about himslef, which supports my case of him being self centered.
When Stephen A. asked Dwight what he took from what Shaquille O’Neal, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Magic Johnson said about him, he said “nothing”.
Wait nothing? NOTHING? You take nothing from an average Joe Schmo off the street but not from three of the greatest players to play the game! If anything you take that as motivation to prove everyone wrong. And that why Dwight will never, and I mean NEVER, win a championship. He just straight up doesn’t have what it takes. And I think Kareem is right when he says that Dwight has reached his full potential – because he has. This past season he failed to do what he says he can do, which is dominate the game. He does what’s asked of him. Nothing more, nothing less.
But what made my blood absolutely boil was when he talked about being traded to the Lakers. Yes, you were traded there but you DEMANDED that trade. And before that, you go and get your coach fired and you weren’t even man enough to admit it. So don’t go acting like you never wanted to be here to justify turning your back on the people of Los Angeles. Man up and say “Los Angeles isn’t what I thought it was going to be. Obviously this is still Kobe’s team and I’m in a point in my career where I need to be the guy. I didn’t like the bright lights of Hollywood and I hated the constant pressure to win a title and Houston will just be happy if I get past the first round, so I’m gonna chill here for a couple of years.” Obviously, not exactly those words, but if he would of just manned up and be straight up with us from the beginning, this whole Dwight saga would of lasted two days, not two years.
The last thing I would like to add is when people talk about Patrick Ewing, Reggie Miller, Karl Malone and Charles Barkley, they always say, “He was a great player, but he could never get that ring.” So when Dwight says that he is a winner, he’s already subconsciously admitting that he will never win.
Yes, you are an Olympic gold medalist, but come on! The USA men’s basketball team are men among boys. It’s a sure thing that they’ll win at every Olympic Games, so don’t brag so much.
All in all, Dwight leaving was a good thing for both sides. Plain and simple, he’s a cancer. He’s so into himself that he can’t seem to focus on the greater task at hand which is to win a championship, which is why he’ll never win. He won’t build a dynasty in Houston because something will come up where he’ll want out and he’ll be back at square one all over again.
This is an article by Eric Calderon. You can follow him on Twitter: @ericcalderon95