The saga surrounding new Rockets center Dwight Howard just won’t die, and Howard doesn’t really have anyone to blame but himself. In a new piece by the Orlando Sentinel‘s Josh Robbins, Howard talks about his trade from the Magic to the Lakers and his decision to sign with Houston in free agency this summer. He also says he’s “a little bit upset” Tobias Harris took his No. 12 in Orlando.
After talking about his major decision this summer, Howard compared this current Rockets iteration to the 2008-09 Magic squad that went to the NBA Finals:
Howard views the Rockets as a championship contender.
He thinks Houston has similar talent to the 2008-09 Magic squad he led to the NBA Finals.
On Tuesday, Howard compared Rockets small forward Chandler Parsons to Hedo Turkoglu and Rockets shooting guard James Harden to Courtney Lee but also added that Harden has more scoring ability. He compared Rockets point guard Patrick Beverley to Rafer Alston and Rockets point guard Jeremy Lin to Anthony Johnson.
This is a bit of a slap in the face to this Rockets team. Anthony Johnson averaged 5.3 PPG and 2.5 APG in a little over 18 MPG with Orlando that season. Starting PG Lin might take umbrage with the comparison to Johnson. The same could be said with Harden and Lee and Parsons and Turkoglu. But it wasn’t Howard’s self-centered comparison to that 2008-09 Magic team and this year’s Houston squad that really struck a sour note with fans and possibly teammates; it was Howard’s revelation that he’s upset the Magic gave his No. 12 to new forward Tobias Harris:
Howard said he was disappointed that, last February, after the Magic acquired Tobias Harris in a trade, the team granted Harris’ request to wear No. 12, Howard’s old number.
“I just think that despite whatever happened, there was a lot of things that I did and that we did as a team, and that number was special down there,” Howard said. “And I was a little bit upset about that.”
(Howard likely didn’t know, and perhaps still doesn’t know, that Harris wanted to wear No. 12 as a tribute to a close friend who had died of leukemia at 17 years old.)
Despite not knowing the context of Harris’ request for the No. 12 jersey, Dwight doesn’t understand how ridiculous he sounds. If he wanted to be venerated in Orlando — at least enough to have his jersey retired — then he probably should have stuck with the franchise instead of repeatedly sabotaging his coach Stan Van Gundy and maligning his teammates before being dealt to the Lakers last fall.
Howard even found time to talk about himself in the third person when describing his decision to spurn the Lakers to sign with the Rockets this summer:
“Everybody’s saying I was a ‘coward’ for leaving [the Lakers], and I knew I was going to get that,” Howard said on Tuesday. “But I think with the situation I had to do what was best for Dwight.”
Yikes. It’s rhetorical, but SB Nation’s Twitter account summed it up nicely:
Is Dwight Howard grabbing the mantle of NBA Villain as a shrewd PR move…or is he just clueless?
— SB Nation NBA (@SBNationNBA) October 16, 2013
Howard again needs to remove his size 19 shoe from his mouth and probably just keep quiet from now on. Every time he talks on the record, it reeks of a self-aggrandizement and the distasteful notion we should all feel sorry for Dwight. We don’t, since he’s wrought the bad PR upon himself. He just did it again.
Get over yourself Dwight, before it’s too late.
What do you think of Howard’s latest foot-in-the-mouth moment?
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