While I have not been following the intricate ins and outs of the trade news before the season, the attempt to deal Dwight Howard, and his subsequent requests for a trade did not go unnoticed. Alas Howard now finds himself on a team that both did not want him, and he does not want to be on. Both sides are putting on a brave face and attempting to convey “business as usual”, however this will not work.
Dwight Howard is an unusual type of player, and especially an unusual type of super star. Unlike, lets say Kobe Bryant or Dwayne Wade, Howard’s game is about laughing and having fun. Howard almost unfailingly has a smile on his face, and he motivates his team not with a stare or harsh words – Bryant like – but by setting an example and providing positive reinforcement. This also means that Howard’s game, again unlike that of Bryant, is very dependent on the environment. He must feel comfortable with his team and with his position. Feeling unwanted, or as if you are about to be dealt away from your friends, will weigh heavily on him. The Magic must address this issue. If they continue to muddle along with an emotional super star who does not feel comfortable, then both his, as well as the team’s, game will suffer. With that Howard’s stock will fall, and so will the price other teams are willingly to pay. Furthermore, the start of the Magic’s rebuilding process will be hampered, as they will still be under Howard’s shadow. All in all the Magic must learn from the Nuggets last year and trade Howard as soon as possible. It is either that, or waste a year and possibly lose him for nothing next year.