Sunday, February 10, 2013

Dwight Howard's Dad Wants Us To Stop Being So Mean To Him

By all means, Dad, defend this
It's hard to imagine that Dwight Howard could have sunk any lower in the eyes of the public after last year's do se do with Orlando, but oh, man alive, has he fallen off a cliff or what?

Start with on the court, where the slash line of 16/12/2/2/1 (points, boards, assists, blocks, steals) is, well, the worst he's done since his second year in the league. And that's the best part of the deal. Shooting 57% from the floor sounds like a win, but when you are sub 50% from the line and a black hole (nearly twice as many turnovers as assists), it's really not that much of a win. The fouls are up nearly 1 a game despite being on the floor five less minutes a game, and he just fails the eye test on every level. There's no lift here any more, no explosion, no cover-up for defense challenged teammates. Hell, Howard dragged a 3 Or Nothing Magic team to an NBA Finals where he didn't have a Hall of Fame back court preventing any kind of double team. Now, the only double team he commands is to see who gets to foul him when the other team wants to get to hacking.

And the really scary part of Howard's game? The on the court has been *worlds* better than off. Kobe Bryant has more or less called his various injuries bullsquat, which is more or less borderline unheard of in polite company. (Though, to be honest, Kobe is also a piece of crap. It's been a fine year to hate the Lake Show.) Today, Howard was blind-sided by his father expressing distress in the Atlanta Journal Constitution over how coach Mike D'Antoni didn't have his son's back, and how D'Antoni, more or less, couldn't carry Stan van Gundy's jock.

No, seriously.

Now, I'm not going to get into the merits of Howard The Elder's remarks. But I will point something else out.

If Howard loves van Gundy so much, why, um, didn't he just stay the hell in Orlando, where he was beloved? And fight for van Gundy's job, rather than throw him under the bus in his sad and sloppy exit out of town?

There's a reason why Howard's father had to find a reporter; it's because the man doesn't have the stones to stand for himself and actually tell the damned truth. That he wanted out of Orlando in the worst way, and got it, despite dicking back and forth on the contract. That he has no idea why, after shooting free throws capably in high school, he's an embarrassment. That he doesn't have the fire to truly rehab from his back injury and get the explosion back to be a defensive force. And that if he's the focus of your team, as the Lakers clearly meant for him to be given that we're in the red (ass) giant stage of Bryant's career, you aren't going anywhere, since he can't be on the floor late in a game with the free throw problem.

By the numbers, you'd be better off with defense-free scrub Nikola Vucevic, the center that the Magic got back in the three-way deal as they set up to tank the year. And no, I don't really believe that, but the idea that it's even a possibility is all kinds of crazy. Howard is supposed to be the clear best center in the Association, 27 years old and the multi-time Defensive Player of the Year...

And instead, he's a guy who doesn't have his teammates or coach backing him up, but his daddy.

Sad, no?

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