Everyday we have a new story involving Dwight Howard in Los Angeles. Will he play or not? Will he be traded or not? This drama is like “General Hospital” with Kobe being Luke and Howard being Laura. Although Howard is close to playing in a dress, there comes a point you just don’t care anymore.
Thursday came news out of Chicago Derrick Rose might be ready to sit out the season after tearing his ACL in last April’s playoffs.
No date has been set for Rose to work towards returning to the team. In fact, he seems content with just sitting back and waiting for next season. Rose maintains he won’t play until he’s ready, and nobody will convince him otherwise.
The mythical “half-way” point of the NBA season is upon us and Sunday is the All-Star game. Both Howard and Rose will be there. Rose won’t be playing. But he has a legitimate reason.
Howard might, even though he was willing to sit out several games with the Lakers because of his shoulder. Every year Howard seems to have some reason for not playing. Yet the All Star game is different. He can come out to a national television audience and play to the cameras, the fans. He can flash the smile he became known for, then afterwards go home and complain again.
Howard always seems to have something going wrong. The smile is gone and has been for three years. Two weeks ago Howard was upset because his “manhood” was being questioned by Kobe and his teammates. Now it’s the rest of the league he’s after.
Over the past couple games, he said, he believes players are targeting the shoulder and trying to hurt him. Well Dwight, here’s some news for you.
All Players find your weaknesses and exploit them, no matter what sport!
Howard has told anyone listening his shoulder is hurt. It’s no secret. Now he’s surprised when opponents target that shoulder and use it? Howard can’t be that naive.
His shooting has never been great, especially his free throw shooting. The best defense against Howard before the injury was put him on the line, where he shoots under 50% with a healthy appendage.
Now defenders can put him on the line with an ailing shoulder, and inflict pain, all at the same time. It’s a “win-win.”
Kobe is also playing in pain, but the key word is “playing.” Over the past several seasons he has suffered through an injured index finger. A finger some say is that of an “83 year old” man. Yet Kobe downplays any injury he sustains.
Kobe dealt with a knee injury that has been operated on 4 times, a back, shoulder, finger and ankle. Yet Kobe never mutters about his ailments. Instead keeping them quiet so opponents can’t use it to their advantage.
Larry Bird was the same, playing with a back injury the last 4 years of his career that needed aligning every day. He played in excruciating pain and never told anyone outside the Celtics organization.
Then there is Michael. Not one word was made about the flu before Game 5 of the 1997 NBA Finals. Suffering from food poisoning and intestinal flu, Jordan stayed in bed for two days and only arrived for game five three hours before tip off.
He informed coach Phil Jackson not to take him out for fear he wouldn’t be able to go back in. The Bulls won the game, Jordan scored 38 and another title.
Players know injuries will be used, so they stay quiet about them. Not Howard. He uses injuries as an excuse…a built in reason for not playing well.
No longer is Howard playing for a title. Maybe he never did. He’s only concerned with his contract after the season. Howard acts like a Max contract will make him one of the games stars, when really he is a comic book character in Disneyland.
Any owner, this includes those in Brooklyn, considering giving Howard the largest contract allowed by the collective bargaining agreement should rethink their position. Howard was out last year with a back injury, this year with a shoulder. He has run two coaches out of town in Stan Van Gundy in Orlando and Mike Brown in LA. A General Manager and has alienated the fans in both cities. He reportedly isn’t happy with current coach Mike D’Antoni. Any owner should wonder what they are getting for their money.
Howard was voted in as a starter this Sunday. Wanting to play is admirable yet it also shows what is wrong with All Star games.
The fans voting have no idea what’s going on in the league this year, or any other year. Voting for Howard above Mark Gasol, LaMarcus Aldridge, Tim Duncan or even Kevin Love was insulting to those mentioned. And Howard was the second leading vote getter in the West!
Howard isn’t the player he once was, and probably never will be again. Once he get’s the money, he will a no show, just like now. Los Angeles isn’t the place for him.
Dave Mitchell co-hosts with Mark Donahue the UST talk show “Ohio Baseball Weekly,” highlighting the Cleveland Indians and Cincinnati Reds. The Show returns on March 4th, at 9pm with a two-hour special. If you have a comment on this or any other article,email Dave at email@example.com or on twitter @ohbbcohost.