Haven’t we been here before? Dwight whining, everyone questioning him. This all seems so deja vu. Oh yes we had the Howard Saga last year, and shocker, it continued into this season.
Howard took a trade to the Lakers this off-season. The Lakers are not where he wants to be, but it isn’t Orlando. Howard doesn’t want to be Shaq reincarnated. Howard wants to be a Brooklyn Net. After this waste of a season and trade for the Lakers Howard will sign with the Nets. The Nets have always been number one on his list.
Howard is still nursing that bad shoulder, and is fed up with people questioning his commitment and the degree of his injury. “I want to play,” Howard said after participating in shootaround. “I mean, why wouldn’t I want to play? But at the same time, this is my career, this is my future, this is my life. I can’t leave that up to anybody else because nobody else is going to take care of me. So, if people are pissed off that I don’t play or if I do play, whatever it may be, so what? This is my career. If I go down, then what? Everybody’s life is going to go on. I don’t want to have another summer where I’m rehabbing and trying to get healthy again. I want to come back and have another great year. That’s what I want to do.” Kobe Bryant fired back saying, “We don’t have time for Howard’s shoulder to heal…. We need some urgency.”
As for his commitment to the Lakers it is until they are eliminated from the playoffs, or more likely as of right now, playoff contention.
The Lakers are but a pit stop on Howard’s journey to Brooklyn. Howard views himself as an elite player, the face of a franchise. He after all was the No. 1 overall pick back in 2004. Howard was praised back then for being unique, wanting to “raise the name of God within the league and throughout the world.” How far he seems to have ventured from that young goal.
He has fought publicly with two franchises, a head coach, and gone e toe with Kobe Bryant in the media. He orchestrated his way out of Orlando after he signed his player option last season. Howard could be in Brooklyn right now, helping the Nets win over New York, but he questionably signed his extension paperwork at zero hour.
Howard’s fear of being compared to Shaquille O’Neal has seemed to consume his mind. He has mentioned Shaq numerous times, they have the same Superman nickname, he wore a Superman cape during the dunk contest. They both played were the No. 1 overall selection by Orlando, and both were going to leave after their contracts expired. Howard just didn’t pull the trigger on opting out on his own. He backed his way out of Orlando. What did that get Howard, a trip to the Lakers, and another step in following Shaq’s footsteps.
The Lakers have said they aren’t trading Howard, why not? Why don’t they get something out of this horrible experiment. Howard is averaging 16.5 points, 11.9 rebounds, and 2.4 blocks per game. He hasn’t fallen off the basketball map, he is just injured and has Kobe Bryant on the team. Trade Howard to someone who is willing to “rent” him for the rest of the season, or work out a deal with the Nets. Howard’s saga won’t end until Brooklyn. Howard’s mantra should be the great words of the Beastie Boys, “No sleep till Brooklyn.” By Steve Kish