If I had to sum up CBS Sports national columnist Gregg Doyel’s most recent article about Dwight Howard with one word it would be… Ouch!!
As far as Gregg Doyel is concerned, the winner in the Dwight Howard sweepstakes are those teams that do not sign him.
Doyel didn’t mince words:
“Dwight Howard will screw it up because that’s what he is: a screw-up. He’s not a lovably well-intentioned screw-up either, a guy like JaVale McGee or even Tony Romo, trying his best but just … screwing it up.”
It gets worse as Doyel elaborates on his take:
They’re putting up billboards all over town with a huge picture of Dwight Howard’s favorite player, accompanied by a single word: Stay.
Makes me think of four more letters:
I’d have said “loser,” but that’s five letters. Coach-killer is 11. Chemistry-sapping egomaniac?
There is a lot of truth to what Doyel touches on regarding who Howard is and has been as a person, albeit a rather harsh way of delivering that truth.
As Doyel mentioned in his article, Howard did get head coach Stan Van Gundy fired in Orlando and ended up leaving Orlando anyway.
Howard did disparage his teammates in Orlando by making the comment of carrying a bunch of “guys who nobody wanted” to the 2009 NBA Finals. Those teammates fired back at Howard so his ability to get along with teammates and build chemistry is in question.
Howard is attention starved and has a need to feed his ego as this current free agent tour of prospective NBA teams will show.
I am one that also isn’t high on Dwight Howard the persona, but there is where I separate from Doyel’s take. I really don’t care about Dwight Howard the persona or who he really is as a person behind closed doors.
Since when has there been a correlation to being likable or a good teammate to being a winner?
Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant have punched teammates. They have 11 rings between them.
Shaquille O’ Neal has yelled at his owner to “mother f’ing pay me” and rapped on stage asking the question to Kobe “tell me how my as* taste.” He has 4 rings with 2 different teams.
Grant Hill and Steve Nash, great people, great teammates, zero rings.
Dwight Howard might be a coach killer, ego-maniacal, a diva and all of the other horrible things that Doyel confesses him to be.
However, Howard is also:
A three time defensive player of the year.
A player, even with his limited and awkward looking offensive skills, will consistently get you 20 points at a 58 percent clip from the post.
Coming off a season of leading the league in rebounding despite coming off back surgery and dealing with a torn labrum.
Did carry a bunch of players that nobody wanted to an NBA Finals in 2009.
Is the best center in basketball.
And most importantly, he is exactly what the Lakers need to sustain their future success as a franchise.
What Dwight Howard is as a player far outweighs what who he is as a teammate or person. The Lakers brass know that and that’s why they are hanging banners and using Hollywood connections to sway Howard’s decision.
I highly recommend that you read Doyel’s article. It will make you react, whether you are for or against the Lakers keeping Howard.
You can reach me at the my Twitter handle, @fullcourtfern, to discuss this article, anything Lakers or NBA related, or if you want to invite me to go grab a beer somewhere in L.A. You’re paying of course.
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