Does Dwight Howard Want Us To Hate Him?
Hey, Dwight Howard, you’re not making this very easy on yourself. For the last year or so, we’ve tried to like you. From what we can tell, you seem like a pretty nice guy. You joke around a lot. You do funny impressions. You’re not above making fun of yourself and putting your personality on display. And yet, we still hate you right now. In fact, we hate you very, very much.
Why, you ask? Well, let’s start with the obvious: Although you agreed to stay with the Orlando Magic at the last minute, you spent the better part of this season trying to find a way to get yourself traded by the team. You gave them a list of NBA teams you’d be interested in joining. You talked—at length!—about how you wanted to play with this guy and that guy. And, you almost forced the Magic to trade you at the NBA trade deadline. Sure, you ended up staying. But we felt some sort of way about the events that had to take place to get you to remain with the Magic. That was strike one.
You didn’t stop there, either. Next, news broke indicating that you tried to have your head coach Stan Van Gundy fired. Granted, you didn’t come out and publicly say that you wanted him gone. But, you went to upper management and basically said, “I want him out of here!” And then, when confronted about it just minutes after Van Gundy himself confirmed it, you beat around the bush and tried to say that you did no such thing. Even though, like we said, we knew that you did. That was strike two.
And, finally, you went down swinging. After getting put on the bench a couple weeks ago thanks to a herniated disk—an injury that just sidelined you for the rest of the season—you reportedly went to upper management again recently and told them that you wouldn’t be playing for the Magic again until Van Gundy is gone. Not this week, not next week, not even in the playoffs! That’s right. Your team is headed to the NBA Playoffs at the end of the month and you reportedly said that you were seriously considering not going with them because you didn’t want to play for your head coach anymore. Strike three, Dwight. You’re out.
Maybe there’s more to all of this. Maybe your relationship with Van Gundy really is fractured beyond repair. Maybe we shouldn’t really hate you right now. But, we do. We’ve tried to look past your transgressions. We’ve tried to keep your bubbly personality and infectious smile in mind while thinking about all the bad press you’ve brought to Orlando this season. We’ve even tried to give you the benefit of the doubt over and over and over again. But, at this point, we’re convinced that you want us to hate you. And, you know what? We’re tired of trying not to. You win.