Indecision: Superman edition


Prior to the 2010-2011 season, LeBron James vilified himself with his infamous “Decision” where he spent an entire hour, time that could have been spent watching a full episode of “Desperate Housewives,” announcing that he was taking his talents to South Beach. The move was self-promotional and disrespectful to Cleveland fans.

The LeBron James decision pales in comparison to the Dwight Howard indecision. Howard is holding the Magic organization and his teammates hostage with his inability to stick with a decision for any significant period of time. Howard has requested a trade multiple times, then rescinded that demand.

In an attempt to appease the superstar, the Magic ownership recklessly signed and traded for numerous high-dollar players the past few years. These moves have crippled the Magic’s current financial flexibility. They signed Rashard Lewis to a $118 million contract, traded for Vince Carter and signed the player that once was Jason Richardson. The list goes on.

In the past week the drama continued. Coach Stan Van Gundy told reporters, seemingly unprovoked, that upper management told him Howard wanted him gone. For once, the origin of Dwight Howard drama doesn’t fall on Superman’s shoulders.

What Van Gundy did is extremely unprofessional. He gains nothing by going public with this information, whether it is true or not. Howard denies his coach’s claims, but, considering their spotty history, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Howard did in fact request a new coach.

Van Gundy is renowned for being a good basketball mind, but he comes up short when it comes to managing players’ egos. The former Castleton State College coach is notorious for wearing on his players, and routinely displays negative body language on the sideline. Antics like this prompted Shaquille O’Neal to call his former coach “the master of panic.”

The real takeaway from this situation is how it affects Dwight Howard’s future in Orlando. Let’s assume Dwight did suggest to someone in management that they bring in a new coach. If that’s the case, Dwight is likely unhappy that a private conversation about his coach was leaked to Van Gundy.

Let’s assume Dwight didn’t ask for his coach’s firing. If this is true, Howard is now getting a ton of bad press and drama for something he played no part in creating. What’s more, Van Gundy is still around. If Van Gundy’s claims are bogus, Dwight should be irate that Van Gundy wasn’t fired after creating an extremely uncomfortable atmosphere which contributed to their recent losing streak.

I believe this situation kills Orlando’s chances of resigning Howard this offseason. Their best player outside of Howard is Ryan Anderson. More than half of the NBA offers a better supporting cast.  

Without Howard, this is a team that would likely win 25 to 30 games in an 82 game season. They’re also stuck with the contracts of Jameer Nelson, Hedo Turkoglu and Jason Richardson for next year.

This may be wishful thinking, but Boston would be a great fit for Dwight Howard. The Celtics have $30 million coming off the cap with Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett’s expiring contracts. They offer an elite passer in Rondo and a great scorer in Pierce, and could realistically sign Allen or Garnett along with a max contract for Howard. Boston also provides the big market Howard has yearned for.

I’ll leave you with the wonderful image of a starting lineup featuring Rondo, Bradley, Pierce, Garnett and Howard: championship.