On ESPN’s SportsCenter, Dwight Howard spoke to Ric Bucher about the Dwightmare: explaining his thought process and reflecting on the lessons he learned. Howard explained why he requested to be traded to the Nets. Here is an excerpt from his conversation with Bucher:
Bucher: Initially, we were hearing that the Brooklyn Nets were the desired destination. Why?
Howard: Well that was a team I wanted to go to, you know I felt like I could go there and write my own history and I was worried about what people would think, you know ‘if you go to L.A., everybody’s gonna say that you are like Shaq.’
In other words, Howard said he thought he could develop a better legacy in Brooklyn. He then went on to express regret for how he was too concerned about his public reputation: that he should have focused more on trying to find a good team. Also in this conversation, I think Howard implied that he waived his early termination option in order to prevent his being traded to the Lakers because he was concerned about his legacy. He asserted that he is now very comfortable with being a Laker.
I believe that if the Magic wanted to trade Howard to the Nets, Howard would have been a Net. Unfortunately, the Magic were not interested in what the Nets had to offer: they seemed to want to begin a complete rebuilding process where they could be terrible this season and get a top draft pick next offseason. They didn’t want to commit large contracts to Brook Lopez and Kris Humphries, because they would have helped make the Magic respectable, but not help in building a championship quality team. As a result, the Magic will be a complete joke next season and may even be worse than the Bobcats. Orlando is definitely a candidate to win next year’s NBA lottery and get the first overall pick.
I am so glad the Dwightmare is over.