By: Dan Hauser
There is no doubting that Lebron James has been scrutinized over the last two years. From his controversial “the decision” special to his telling fans that they have to “wake up to their lives tomorrow” after being eliminated from the NBA finals last year, Lebron James has not made many fans outside of South Beach.
This year however things changed. There was a “passing of the torch” for most hated player in the NBA by fans. You see last year’s loss in the finals humbled Lebron and this year he came out a whole new man. He spent the offseason working on his flaws on and off the court. From working on his low post game to saying what seemed like all the right things, people couldn’t help but begin to feel happy for Lebron and feel some vindication for him when the Miami Heat won the NBA Championship this year.
Enter Dwight Howard.
While Lebron was repairing and rehabilitating his image Dwight Howard was essentially lighting a torch to his. The same fun loving big man who strapped a superman cape on during a slam dunk contest and used to do impressions of his coach before games to get a good laugh turned from fan favorite to heel in a very short amount of time.
He demanded to be traded, then came out and said he would play out the remainder of his contract but only if the GM Otis Smith and Coach Stan Van Gundy were gone. So Magic brass listened and complied. Smith and Van Gundy were out at the end of the season and in comes new GM Rob Hennigan. However that still wasn’t good enough to keep Dwight in Orlando so he lines up the teams that he will play for and demands to be traded to one of them. Only problem is none of those teams are willing to give up what the Magic want for him. During all this Hennigan flies out to LA on two separate occasions and tries to talk Howard into signing long term with the team and both times Howard shakes him off. He went so far as to say “I will never play for the Orlando Magic again”.
Where Dwight Howard will end up nobody knows at this point. Could be the Lakers, could be the Rockets, could be the Nets. It could even be back with the Magic. There is one thing we do know, and that is Dwight Howard went from Superman to General Zod.