The Petulant Big Baby Howard Strikes Again
While the news came out on Friday afternoon that Dwight Howard was signing with the Houston Rockets instead of re-signing with the Los Angeles, I am writing today because he wasn't actually able to sign his deal until today. Yes Dwight Howard is now a Houston Rocket-- his third team in as many years.
The surprising thing about this signing isn't that Howard chose the Rockets over the Lakers. The surprising thing is that after about five days after the decision was made, Howard didn't change his mind and stuck with the Rockets. Let's look at the indecision and petulant, bratty behavior that he has shown us over the last few years:
1. After losing in his only NBA Finals appearance, he started giving the vague possibilities that he might leave the Orlando Magic if the front office didn't build a true contender around him.
2. Before his last season with the Magic he demanded a trade from the team only to retract his demand as season approached.
3. During that season, he left open the possibility of wanting to be traded by the trade deadline only to change his mind and re-up with the Magic-- keeping him around for at least another season with the team.
4. After he injured his back and had to have season-ending surgery, he first told the front office that it was either him or Stan Van Gundy. Van Gundy was fired and Howard renewed his demand to be traded.
5. Howard was traded to the Lakers and played most of the season with a torn labrum, but also kept throwing his dissatisfaction with the franchise's unwillingness to bring back Phil Jackson as head coach. He also constantly complained about Mike D'Antoni's offensive system.
6. He showed his childish ways before a national television audience when he was ejected during a Game Four blowout by the Spurs over the Lakers-- a series the Spurs swept.
7. Then after stating he didn't want to play in D'Antoni's offense, he decides to sign with the Rockets-- who play a similar offense. (Think he didn't like playing second fiddle to Kobe.)
While Howard is on his way to be 27 years old, he still acts like a spoiled 10-year old brat. He wants to be the spotlight, but has never done as much to show that he is capable of consistently being the man. While in Orlando, he scored most of his points from dunks or offensive rebounds. He has never had a true go-to move and is horrendous from the free throw line. On a lot of the Magic's biggest performances, someone else stepped up in crunchtime.
The Rockets will find out real soon that he is actually a liability down the stretch. Play Hack-a-Howard and your team has great chance to stay in the game and make a comeback. A lot of close games will not go Houston's way, I think. I do not believe that Dwight Howard will ever an NBA title. I also don't think that he will ever be capable of growing up and maturing before our very eyes like Lebron James. James at least did that when he realized it was he needed to do to win titles, and has now won back-to-back titles.
The difference between the last two high schoolers to be drafted by the NBA is that James made one huge mistake with "The Decision," before he realized that he needed to grow up to become the man everyone expected him to be. He did that and now has two NBA MVP awards, two NBA titles, and two NBA Finals MVP awards. Howard whined his way out of Orlando where he was the man and had a coach that built a system around him, huffed and puffed about D'Antoni's system, and threw a temper tantrum in his final game as a Laker. James spent seven years in Cleveland and three in Miami. Howard may have spent eight years in Orlando, but only one in Los Angeles. And now at least four years in Houston-- unless he changes his mind and decides he has a better shot elsewhere. I believe it is quite easy to say that Dwight Howard is nothing but a petulant, spoiled child that will never grow up. For that reason alone, he will never lead a team to an NBA championship.