By Rich Winter
Kinda had to chuckle the other day when Dwight Howard opted out of his $23-million, last-season in Houston to test the waters of free-agency.
Really....the former Magic, Laker and now Rocket somehow thinks fair-market value is going to pay him LeBron money after he cancerously tore up the last two teams he's been on, with skills declining, and a perceived bad attitude around the league?
Hmmmm, well, good luck with that!
Quite frankly, the descension of Dwight Howard from a 22 point, 14.5 rebound, 2.9 blocks per game guy into what he is today has been a sad tale of a guy that looks like he has no heart and is really there to pick up a paycheck.
When is the last time you heard Dwight Howard talk about contending for a title or going out and getting one? Ya ever hear a team, Lakers or Rockets, talk about building around the rock-solid big-man they have in the middle?
With this most recent opt-out in Houston, Howard once again clearly defines that he's not capable of playing in the shadow of a superstar, be it, James Harden or Kobe Bryant. Yes, he's as fabulously talented athlete that is 6-foot-11 but besides the stats (13 points, 11 boards, 1.9 blocks) what kind of negativity is this guy going to bring to the next franchise he tears down from the inside out?
The reports of the ugliness in the Laker locker were not exaggerated as the same thing happened in Houston - Above all else, there were constant reports regarding turmoil in the Rockets' locker room, particularly between Howard and superstar guard James Harden. A team source described the chemistry between Howard and Harden as "cordially bad," per ESPN.com's Calvin Watkins.
You get the feeling that while the fellas are carrying on and chilling after the game that Dwight Howard is off in the corner by himself, admiring his sinewy muscles and thinking about the shots he didn't get, the times he got looked off and then looking longingly at James Harden's locker area where a throng of reporters are gathered around to talk about the 40 that Big James just threw down.
He's a pout-sack this guy, a poison...One of those guys that doesn't give max effort on the court or in the care of thinking about his work situation and developing relationships with his teammates. Chemistry is such an under-rated part of sports and while teams like the Cavs grow together through their trials, teams like Houston fall apart and barely make the playoffs because the two best players on the team only look at each other with icy stairs...and then, only when they have to.
Not a fan of Howard nor his work ethic. He might find the perfect situation this summer, lord knows he'll be coveted and told how great he can be and how much he'll help a franchise. While he might find the right team, and he might be the missing piece for someone....Buyer Beware, this guy has a track record!