With , we break down the winners and losers from the saga that would seemingly never end.
Duh. They got a top-five player in the (when healthy). They got a franchise center to pair with . All of their moves over the past five years have paid off big-time and they can officially call themselves contenders. They beat out the for retaining their own player, for crying out loud. That never happens. Houston has become a juggernaut by turning over all but two players from the team that finished the 2012 season ( and ). It was the biggest gamble Houston could make but it paid off, and now they have the core elements of an elite team in place. They got Dwight Howard. They win.
Come on, he gets paid a ridiculous amount of money, that’s always a win. But also, Howard for once in his life made a bold decision. Forcing his way out of Orlando was cliche and predictable. Wanting to go to a big market was cliche and predictable. But leaving the Los Angeles Lakers? That’s bold. Wanting to follow in Hakeem Olajuwon’s footsteps instead of Shaquille O’Neal’s? That’s bold. Trusting in a team that has consistently shown it can make smart moves to put together good players over a team that throws money at problems? Really bold. The decision to team up with a team with strong ties to the Chinese market, to build with a young superstar with no injury problems in James Harden, to partner with a big-man coach who can be the figure he’s looked for for so long in Kevin McHale? Those are all parts of a smart decision, a recent development for Howard.
Many superstars wait years for their team to acquire someone to help them. Harden landed one his very first summer. He gets a pick-and-roll partner, a primary weapon to feed the ball to, a guy to cover his defensive limitations (the quietly understated part of this) and another guy to share the blame and credit with. Harden’s decision to trust the Rockets when he agreed to the trade and extension with them pays off big time.
Chandler Parsons: So many Magic players had career seasons shooting because of the spacing Howard provided. He’s about to have all the space in the world to launch from the perimeter.
They may have just gotten the entrance of one of the best franchises in all of sports, and one of the luckiest, in the Lakers. Would it shock you to see the Lakers walk out with a top-three pick next year, landing Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parke, or Julius Randle? Any one of those guys could be the bridge to the future for the franchise, and in a league where getting drafted to the wrong team can end your career, it puts them in great position. Someone could wind up as a star for the Lakers without having to abandon their old team first.
We don’t have to cover this nonsense anymore. Wait, I’ve just jinxed it, Dwight will now vealed the hidden meaning behind the flat cap he wore for their Premier League title parade on Monday.Guardiola revealed the accessory was a gift from the wife of City’s life president Bernard Halford, who died in March at the age of 77.”One week agodemand a trade.
The only team to survive the Dwight Howard trade of 2012 .
Are they really losers here? It was a bad fit from the start. The fates just had it out for this superstar team from the moment it was constructed. They get to start over, it gives them a reason to move , to start fresh, to clean house, and target the next great Laker in 2014. Howard was a headache, inside the locker room and out, never got along with , who the Lakers simply cannot let go of, and never clicked with anyone else. Bringing him back would mean wholesale changes not of their impetus and the team never works like that. They do what they decided, because they’re the Lakers, and no player, no matter how great, is above them.
… But on the other hand, they did lose the best center in the league (when healthy), the franchise’s bridge to a post-Kobe future, an All-Star, a highly marketable star, and a great player. Maybe more than anything, they lost the air of invincibility that has surrounded them for so long. A max player chose to go somewhere else rather than get paid more money by the Lakers. That was inconceivable a year ago. Yet here we are.
You’ve seen the movie Madmed that goalkeeper Petr Cech will start in the last game of his career.Cech will be in goal for the Europa League final against Chelsea, as he bids farewell to a long and storied career in the game.Emery has confirmed that a decision about who start Max, or one of those post-apocalyptic video games? That’s the Mavericks, with the only survivor in a toxic wasteland. The Mavericks cleared the decks for Howard, going all the way back to the summer of 2011. They broke up a championship team for him, then let go of as much as possible to clear room for him this summer. They whiffed on , they whiffed on Howard, and now have to try to manufacture a new future where Nowitzki is able to remain in Dallas and still compete for titles. Not to get too overdramatic, but Nowitzki is looking at the very real possibility of not making the playoffs again in his career. No one wants him to go out like that, but honestly, the Mavericks needed Howard if they were going to bank as much as they did on him.
Again, not a huge loss, but a loss. They wanted Howard, it would have changed their plans dramatically. But Danny Ferry has hedged his bets and not gone all-out with any signings to limit his cap space. He’s got draft picks, the freedom to reshape the team or tank, and still has good players in and . But getting tied up in the Dwightmare did hold them up from being more aggressive and took their attention away from what they could have been doing with smaller, smarter hires. Not a big loss, but definitely not a winner.
Even less of a loser than Atlanta, the Warriors landed on Friday, so they did pretty well. They didn’t get Dwight, so they land here, but no biggie.
Yes, he’s a loser here, too. He walked away from the most succesful franchise in NBA history. No matter how bold or innovative the choice is, some in the basketball world will crush him for not signing with the Lakers. That’s what you’re supposed to do. It will be sold that he somehow couldn’t handle the “pressure” of playing in LA, where in reality, the media environment is soft and the fans not nearly as vindictive as in places like New York. He’s walking away from $30 million and the chance to someday have a statue outside Staples along with Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
But more than anything, Dwight’s reputation may never be the same. He subjected the world to this drawn-out saga over two years. Two years! And in that time seemed to be solely concerned with people liking him, while betraying multiple fan bases that investd in him. He wanted a trade, but only to where he wanted to go, then he accepted such a trade, then bailed on that team. That’s a bad look for anyone, and the more Howard tried to get out of thrama as he private jet slid off John Lennon Airport’s runway.Gordon was onboard the private jet that skidded off the runway at John Lennon Airport this morning. The airport was closed after the incident.The Bombardier BD-700-1A11 Global 6000 jet, whiat environment, the more he fed into it.
was the most-hated person in sports for a long time, but at least what he did was mercilessly quick.
Not only is he recovering from a torn Achilles tendon, but it may have been his prideful “Let me teach you” speech to Howard that drove him away and hurt his chances to team with Howard for runs at those last two rings he wants. Pride goeth before the fall.
Unless Dwight changes his mind…
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