Dwight Howard Is No Superstar
Mercifully the season of one of the NBA’s marquee teams the LA Lakers came to an end this past Sunday after they were swept out of the playoffs by the San Antonio Spurs. This was no major surprise when you look at the snake bitten team that suffered significant injuries to just about all of it’s key players including Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard. Now some decisions need to be made. How do you rebuild or reload and become a top tier team again ? An even bigger question is do you place the future of this legendary franchise in the hands of Dwight Howard ? Truthfully I may have finally seen the light when Howard was ejected in game four against the Spurs after receiving a second technical foul in what was the Lakers’ final game of the season.
Howard was fully aware of the fact that he already had one technical foul when he was hit with his second which meant an automatic disqualification from the game. A game that he wanted no part of because his Lakers were being embarrassed by the obviously superior Spurs. Instead of showing the leadership qualities of the great Laker legends before him, instead of proudly standing tall in the face of adversity Howard suddenly became small and wanted out of the humiliation and abandoned his teammates. A real leader does not do that. Furthermore there is now talk that Howard will test free agency and see what is out there before he totally commits to the Lakers, meaning his return is no certainty. Lets be real, Dwight Howard is no Shaquille O Neal, he is no Kareem Abdul Jabbar and he is no Wilt Chamberlain. He is mentally weak, and has failed to show any real leadership qualities. I totally question whether he has the goods to lead a team to a championship. Yes he was the centerpiece of an Orlando team that advanced to the NBA finals a few years ago but was that a case of Dwight putting that team on his back or the right pieces simply falling into place ? Give Howard credit for playing hurt, and showing up big down the stretch for the Lakers as they struggled to make the playoffs. He deserves credit for that.
However his embarrassing exit out of Orlando, coupled with the way he held that city hostage and now threatening to perhaps do the same thing with the Lakers without showing that he does have the goods to almost single handedly take a team to the promised land raises eyebrows. Howard is not dominant like the aforementioned Laker big men, his offensive skills are limited , he is immature and gets frustrated easily. The Lakers can still one day build a championship team with him as a centerpiece but he is no Kobe, Lebron or Durant. He just is not that much of a difference maker, he does not have that dog in him, he is; simply put a head case. He has all the potential in the world, but there may be nobody home upstairs. It is no indictment on a player if he does not have “it”, that is what makes those guys so different or so special. Whether Dwight stays with the Lakers or goes on to play somewhere else, whatever he decides to do, that team is taking a risk . While the economics of the game says he deserves a max contract, because he will get it, the question still remains is Dwight Howard a great player ? At this point in his career I would have to say no.