Apr 28, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard (12) leaves the court after being ejected with two technical fouls against the San Antonio Spurs in game four of the first round of the 2013 NBA playoffs at the Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Instant Recap: One player, two teams, and a huge mess

Dwight Howard is gone. Confusion was aplenty. Questions were everywhere. Reports were questioned. But, in the end, Dwight is gone

 

Howard was the most polarizing of figures in the NBA this year and into the off-season, especially in the last couple of days. Despite his immense talent, he could turn fans against him in a heartbeat.

 

It showed through most bright as Dwight flip-flopped and wavered on who he would play for in the future, first setting a date, then not, then announcing, then not. He capped off the media escapade with ongoing, conflicting reports through the evening and into the night Friday, some saying he has chosen Houston, some saying he was flying to Los Angeles for a last chance meeting, and some saying the trip to LA was for a formal goodbye.

 

For the Lakers, they held firm in their stance. While the #StayD12 banners and campaign were criticized, that was the extent of their “begging.” The Lakers pitched him on the future and their history of winning titles. Kobe Bryant told him he needed to learn to be a champion. In the end, Howard had no plans to learn from Bryant, but instead ran to Houston to be a savior.

 

There will be a lot of diagramming, diagnosing, and analyzing about what happened. Dwight entered L.A. in style and, after Friday night, left with a bang, as only Howard could do.

 

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