Howard exits with reputation in tatters
Try to find me a prominent athlete – in any sport – who has fallen as far and as fast as Dwight Howard.
Not sure it can be done.
Remember when he was the Poster Boy for fun-loving, dominant athletes, playing in NBA Finals and smiling all the time, the next great big man in the game. Dunk contests. TV commercials. Big games.
He was everywhere.
Watching him quit on his team last night – and getting a second technical foul the way he did when did under the circumstances of the game as he did was out and out giving up – and wonder into the darkness of the Staples Center hallways was a fitting end to a horrid season.
And no matter what he said after the game (he was sorry, the season was like a bad dream, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah) I can’t help but think he’s done irreparable damage to his image and his career.
Look, the Lakers had all kinds of issues and to lay the disaster of the season solely at the feet of Howard is unfair.
Steve Nash was never healthy, Kobe Bryant was never healthy, I think they panicked on the Mike Brown hiring and blew it when Mike D’Antoni couldn’t figure out how to use his best big man in Pau Gasol.
Howard never seemed to buy in totally, he never truly asserted himself and he still has some impressive physical tools. He gave up too easily and that will be the one thing many remember from this lost Laker season.
I was at one time a big Howard fan because he seemed to strike a balance between great play and fun. Now? Now I think he doesn’t take responsibility for himself or respect the game or his teammates in many ways. He doesn’t strike me as a guy who cares about being as good as he can in many ways, someone who takes the easy way out and that’s a shame.
Now, someone is going to give Howard a maximum value contract – it could very well be the Lakers – but this is a total Buyer Beware situation.
Maybe he gets it, eventually.
Maybe he doesn’t.
It’s a gamble and after this horrid season, not one I’d take.
But I guess that’s why I’m not an NBA GM or owner.
Apropos of nothing …
Got a lot of time for Philly and was thinking about it a bit this weekend for some reason.
Good song, too.
Don’t tell anyone but even I was kind of hoping for Leaves-Habs in the first round of the playoffs because I do respect the history and the tradition and I have some good friends who are Montreal fans (hello, Penny Clan!) and it would have been nice to see how they reacted to the next few days.
But if those Orr and Cheevers fellows have big series, I’m not sure the locals have much of a chance, do they?
Grudgingly – and I presume there are KG fans reading here who might not think the same way and we quite happy with what transpired Sunday afternoon -- you have to have a bit of respect for the Boston Celtics, no?
It’s easy, very easy, to mail it in with an old team without a legitimate point guard down 3-0 to a superior opponent; easy to say, well, we gave it our best, it wasn’t good enough, let’s get on with the summer and take our beating and go away.
And it would have been even easier to do that after blowing a 20-point lead in the middle and later part of Game 4.
But they stuck it out, it wasn’t pretty and it may ultimately mean nothing more than the season was prolonged 48 hours but they did it.
And I know they’re supposed to do it, all teams are supposed to do it but many don’t. A veteran team wouldn’t give up at home, was good to see.
Too bad they’re likely to get drilled in Game 5.
Not sure if any of you were paying attention on Saturday night when the caricature that is Don Cherry used his bully pulpit to opine that women reporters should not be allowed into locker rooms.
The statement itself was idiotic – the women are professional reporters doing their jobs and to think otherwise is absolutely ludicrous – but I guess it should come as no surprise, coming as it did from a guy who appears stuck in some bygone era.
But here’s the deal:
I don’t really care what Don Cherry says or thinks and I imagine I’m in a majority of right-thinking people in that regard.
I believe freedom of speech is a wonderful thing and should be guarded and protected at all costs.
But with free speech – and the freedom to expose one as a backwards-thinking bully – comes repercussions. Always should be.
You can say whatever the heck you want as long as you’re wiling to accept the consequences for your actions and statements and I happen to think there should be some consequences for Saturday’s diatribe.
Probably won’t be and that’s too bad. That speaks as much to the CBC and its willingness to bow to the meandering mind of a showman.
So my TFCs are in Montreal mid-week and have a two-game western road trip coming up so I have no idea what the Tall Foreheads might have for me this week.
Maybe I can get some HOTH resolution quickly so I don’t have to be a’scared of being dragged into the pucks.