FanDuel - WFBC

March 15, 2012

NBA Store Puts Dwight Howard Nets Jersey On Sale: At the NBA's trade deadline, Dwight Howard has reportedly decided to opt out of his contract early and test free agency after the season, a move that puts the Orlando Magic at risk of losing another dominant big man and getting nothing in return unless they deal him now. On Tuesday, the NBA Store briefly posted for sale a Dwight Howard New Jersey Nets T-shirt. "The player's number is subject to change," the description states, "and will not ship until the official number is issued." Confusingly, the website RealGM reported that Howard told them last night he was not going to opt out and would stay with the Magic through next season. Kelly Dwyer of Yahoo thinks Howard is trying to prevent a trade because he "doesn't want to cost the Nets assets that he'd prefer to play alongside."

posted by rcade to basketball at 08:06 AM - 18 comments

It's been interesting to watch a popular sports figure do everything he can to ruin his reputation. It's like The Decision-lite. Actually, it might be worse: at least that was pulling off a Band-Aid. This is torturous to me and I don't even care about Howard or the Magic.

posted by yerfatma at 10:06 AM on March 15

Howard's been a good guy in Orlando, but he's risking a LeBron-like reputation by dicking around a franchise on the way out the door. Either go or stay already.

posted by rcade at 10:40 AM on March 15

Howard is trying to prevent a trade because he "doesn't want to cost the Nets assets that he'd prefer to play alongside."

If this happens he's a complete dickhead of LeBronish proportions.

I assume the league would veto that type of move if it happens anyways.

posted by cixelsyd at 10:47 AM on March 15

C'mon, Dwight. Everyone ruminates about assets that they'd like to play alongside.

Now get back out there and focus on basketball.

posted by beaverboard at 11:41 AM on March 15

Does the NBA allow compensation picks yet? If not, doing so would solve a bit of this problem.

posted by drezdn at 12:44 PM on March 15

So now Howard is waiving his Early Termination Option (ETO) essentially keeping him in Orlando for another year. Why? This team is a disaster.

posted by tron7 at 12:49 PM on March 15

Orlando's not a disaster -- they're third in the East and playing well.

It's unprecedented for an NBA star to waive his ETO like this. He wasn't just blowing smoke about being committed to Orlando.

posted by rcade at 01:18 PM on March 15

They are a disaster in the same way that Cleveland was a disaster. You take Howard off that team and how many games do you think they'd win? So, I guess more accurately I should have said his supporting cast is a disaster. I want to see him go somewhere else because this team isn't going anywhere. It's going to be another year of trade rumors and a second round exit.

posted by tron7 at 01:38 PM on March 15

You take Howard off that team and how many games do you think they'd win?

They'd probably have to overachieve to make the playoffs. But what does that say about them? Few teams in the NBA could lose a star like Howard without finding themselves in the lottery. That's the nature of the league.

posted by rcade at 02:28 PM on March 15

Well, that's generous. They would be the worst defensive team in the league. No one else on that roster can defend. What's worse, about every one of them is past their prime. There's nowhere to go but down for this team.

What's one year going to do anyway? It'll just coax Orlando into one or two stopgap roster moves that will just make the team worse in the long run. If he would have signed an extension the team would be more likely to avoid overly risky behavior to placate their star.

posted by tron7 at 03:08 PM on March 15

That is the strongest use of "overachieve" since David hacked Goliath with a slingshot. It would be like Weekend at Bernie's XI with them wheeling around the corpse of Hedo Turkoglu. Jameer Nelson's over-eating could be a recurring gag and Big Baby would be . . . well, himself.

posted by yerfatma at 03:13 PM on March 15

Maybe Howard just doesn't want to become the next Lebron. Maybe he genuinely likes Orlando and the fans and wants to be loved rather than hated.

One thing nice about his change of heart is that maybe the Leborn decision has shown some players that money is not everything when you're already rich, and the support of your team, city and fans has some value. Maybe Lebron's saga has shown that even when you team up with other superstars, championships still are won by your performance and team work more than by hand picking a super squad to try to manipulate the system to get 8 rings. Great teams are built over time with persistent effort and team work. There really are no shortcuts and as soon as the shortcuts are created they will eventually destroy the competitive spirit of the league and alienate the fans who it seems most athletes have forgotten, are the real ones who make them rich. Without the ability of the fans to believe their team has a chance to compete with big market teams, in attractive locations, with perfect weather and the players and their friends colluding behind the scenes and manipulating free agency, the league will die and the golden goose with it.

I might add props to the Orlando management for calling all bluffs and demanding their star resign or be traded. That is a great business decision, and actually a similar one the NFL Colts were faced with also. No smart businessman keeps an asset they know will have no value a short time in the future. When faced with getting something back on your investment while you can, for something soon to loose it's value, every business makes the same choice. This is another clear choice either trade him for something while you can get it or let him walk while you get nothing. Most businessmen want to control their own destiny not allow their employees or circumstances dictate it for them.

posted by Atheist at 06:07 PM on March 15

One thing nice about his change of heart is that maybe the Leborn decision has shown some players that money is not everything when you're already rich,

Lebron actually took less money to play for Miami.

posted by drezdn at 08:04 PM on March 15

I should have said money and / or the thought of an easier route to a championship.

Yes Lebron took a little less money, and the fact that he alienated many fans probably cost him a lot more in endorsements, AND he still doesn't have a ring. His poor playoff performances in the big clutch moments, (which happened in Cleveland as well as Miami) are proving that he needed a lot more help than he thought. Maybe Dwight Howard is taking a lesson from that. Sure all players want to win but Randy Moss and Junior Seau went to New England thinking the ring that eluded them their entire careers, would be almost guaranteed by the supporting cast. They had an undefeated season but it still wasn't a guarantee to get the ring which neither player has. Wade, James and Bosch were counting the multiple championships they had in the bag when they manipulated the system and came together. Thankfully they haven't succeeded by way of shortcut. I am not saying they are not the best team and still don't have a chance to win a title, but it will not be as easy as they originally thought. I for one hope it never happens. I am pretty certain that even if they wind up winning a title they will not be the dynasty they expected to be as other players will do similar deals and the big three will not be the biggest big three in the league for long. The NBA will suffer as it winds up with a couple of teams that can compete and most teams will just be background noise.

I think trying to wind up on a championship team is not as effective as just going out there and winning it. Especially when you are being paid to be the nucleus that a team should be built around not part of the supporting cast. Most basketball fans I know are more into March Madness than pro basketball now, they talent is more dispersed, more teams have an opportunity to win which makes the whole thing much more exciting. The one or be done format also helps.

Allowing players to dictate the balance of the league is not a good thing in the long run for the fans, the game or the league, and that means it also is not the the players as a group's long term interest.

posted by Atheist at 12:05 PM on March 16

I should have said money and / or the thought of an easier route to a championship.

That makes sense and / or it doesn't.

Yeah, yeah we get it. You hate Lebron. Players having power is awful. Owners are awesome. How many of the same ways can you tell us the same thing? I'd start an Atheist comment drinking game but I'm afraid I'd die.

posted by tron7 at 08:49 PM on March 16

That made me laugh, tron.

posted by bperk at 09:53 PM on March 16

Thankfully they haven't succeeded by way of shortcut.

What the fuck are you talking about? They came within two games of winning it their first time out! They have two better 4th quarters and the argument doesn't even exist.

I wonder what you're going to say when Lebron has a couple championships under his arm. It sounds like you want his current lack of a championship to mean something about life, society and America - but I'm sorry, it doesn't and I don't think it's a permanent condition.

The NBA will suffer as it winds up with a couple of teams that can compete and most teams will just be background noise.

The NBA has been like this since 1980. Look how many teams have won titles since then. Lakers, Celtics, Bulls and San Antonio have won 24 of the 32 titles. Lakers have 10. Then you have the Pistons with three (including two in a row), the Rockets with two (also in a row). Only three teams have won a single championship in that time (76ers, Heat and last years' Mavs). I think sometimes you don't get this league at all. It's a league of stars and dynastys. It's the nature of the league. Those teams were all loaded. The only, and I mean ONLY exception has been the 2003-4 Pistons. That's it.

Lebron left Cleveland like an asshole, and he was an ass to go about it the way he did, but that's about it.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 12:15 AM on March 17

When you see what the Mavs had to do right after beating the Heat, LeBron's scheme makes even more sense to me. He'll have Wade and Bosh for the duration, while a lot of the teams that face them will rise and fall.

They'll still have to earn a ring by performing in the clutch like anyone else.

posted by rcade at 06:53 AM on March 17

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