Magic Need To Wake From Dwightmare?



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HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – Closure.

That’s what is on tap for Orlando Magic fans tonight when Dwight Howard makes his return to the building built upon his broad shoulders, the one that was supposed to house the city’s biggest and brightest star.

A win over the Los Angeles Lakers would sweeten the deal, anything the Magic can do to damage the Lakers’ playoff chances serves that purpose. And a lousy game by Howard might also add to the feel-good nature of the evening for those Magic fans still wounded by Howard’s departure last summer via a blockbuster trade.

But after it’s all over, when the booing is finished and the Lakers are in the air and headed to Atlanta for a Wednesday night matchup against the Hawks, the Magic and the entire city of Orlando needs to close the door on this Dwightmare drama for good. It’s time to wake up from this mess and finally move on.

That’s an extremely tall order, what with Howard’s refusal to stop sticking his size 18s in his mouth at seemingly every turn. Howard, however, is someone else’s Dwightmare now. The Lakers have to sweat out this summer wondering what he’ll do, whether he’s willing to stick around or chase his fortunes elsewhere (the Brooklyn whispers remain).

Magic fans will get a fresh start after tonight, and a well-deserved one. They can thank their front office for only having to see Howard once this year anyway. The decision to trade him to the Lakers and not somewhere else in the Eastern Conference prevented us all from having to go through this exhausting exercise on more than one occasion.,

That said, tonight’s meeting between the Magic and Lakers (7 ET, League Pass) promises to offer up one of the more bizarre scenes of the season, which is saying a mouthful, given the traveling circus the Lakers have been all season long.

Howard’s recent comments about his time in Orlando and his words about his former teammates (that he insists were misconstrued) will have to be addressed again … and in the flesh. There’s no Stan Van Gundy around to serve as the punching bag/foil for Howard, as he did during that infamous hallways scene after a shootaround practice last season.

One-time Howard ally Jameer Nelson will be in the other locker room. The eyes and ears of former Magic players like J.J. Redick, Rashard Lewis and even Vince Carter will no doubt be tuned into whatever is said.

Nelson swears there are no hard feelings, as he told Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel:

“What’s said is said, and what happened is over and done with,” Nelson said. “I’m just here trying to look forward and not trying to dwell on the past. The decision was made and things happen, so it’s not like anybody could take them back or anything like that. And me personally, I’m not mad at him for doing what he did. I don’t know. Could things have been done differently? Yeah. But they weren’t. So, me as a person, I just have to move on and try to continue to be successful and do the things I need to do to help the team get back in the position we used to be in.”

Last week, Howard said he had reached out to former teammates after some of them, including Nelson and Rashard Lewis and J.J. Redick, took issue with a comment Howard made to a Los Angeles television station about his old Magic teams.

Howard said the statement was misconstrued and twisted by the media — that he was attempting to say that the Magic were always considered underdogs.

Nelson was asked whether he and Howard have conversed recently.

“No,” Nelson said.

There was silence before Nelson spoke again.

“Have me and Rashard conversed? Yes.”

To his credit, Howard has tried his best to apologize to everyone from his former teammates to the arena workers for how he handled himself during his season-long departure, which started with a trade request he refused to own up to during training camp. Howard was candid in a sit down interview with USA Today‘s Sam Amick, explaining his side of things as best he could:

“In Orlando, I handled a lot of stuff the wrong way,” he said. “If any of those people in Orlando are upset with how I did it, I apologize for the way I handled it and the way it was handled in the media.

“I really just got caught up in wanting to please everybody else. I really love that city. That was the hardest thing to do was to leave that city because I basically grew up there. That was my whole life. Orlando was it. I did not want to leave all that behind — the city, just everything about it. The fans. But I wanted a change for my life. I just felt like there was something else out there for me.”

That something else, for now, is trying to rebound from the Lakers’ disastrous start to this season and assist Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash in delivering his new team to the playoffs.

Howard would be wise to focus on that tonight and not the hate shower he’ll get from the crowd tonight in Orlando. Because it should get nasty.

But when it’s over, win or lose, the Magic need to wake up from their Dwightmare and just move on.

In fact, it’s time for everyone to just move on!

23 Comments

  1. dink says:

    the key piece in the howard trade was nik vucevic , the crazy thing is Orlando won this trade in the long haul , nik vucevic will be better than Dwight in 2 yrs if not next yr , nik V’s already had 30 boards in a game this yr , a 20 30 game I believe , afflalo is putting up 17 a game too which isn’t bad

  2. Amro says:

    If someone wanted out (as Shaq and T-Mac did), and he got what he wanted, why do media still want to do some drama?

    I am just mad at the organization for not landing Andre Iguodala in the trade.

  3. kod says:

    Awful, horrible video.

  4. sholmes87 says:

    Sorry Sekou, you have no right to tell the fans to do ANYTHING. If a fan wants to hate Howard for the rest of his life (either Dwight’s or the fans or both), that is his right as a FAN! When they change the name of the Pittsburgh Pirates to something else, THEN maybe we can all move on.

    • Adam Speilberg says:

      Sorry sholmes87, you have no right to tell Sekou what he can say or not. If you dont agree with the writer, leave the page, just move on.

    • Vino says:

      Yeah. I agree. Everyone has rights. Thats why Fans can get mad all they want bc it’s their rights. And Dwight can do whatever he wants because it’s his rights. He doesnt have to try to please the fans. The fans don’t have to please him. Dwight will never going to be able to please the fans even if he goes back and play for Orlando Magic. You can’t please anyone. So, Dwight should take a page out of Shaq’s book, like how he left the Magic and what he said to the fans and learn from it. See where Shaq ends up? Just as good as he can be. It this keeps happening to the Magic, history will only say that it must be something to do with Magic’s karma, it won’t say it’s Dwight in particular, cus Shaq did it first. It’s ok for Dwight to follow Shaq’s footsteps. It’s okay for Dwight to admit he’s not as good as Shaq but he admires Shaq, simply..it’s okay for younger generation players to pay respect to older generation. It’s modesty. Whether Dwight is better than Shaq, Kobe or Lebron better MJ..Only time will tell. and even with time, something will always be controversy…

  5. Orlando native says:

    I miss dwight but i also dislike him for how he handled with the trade rumors last year but im not a dwight fan but it is also the media’s fault u cant beleive everything they say but still i would boo on dwight any time now

    • Vino says:

      how many “but” can one have in one sentence? Dwight was 26 yr old. Many ppl forget that many ppl are still thinking like a kid at that age. I bet he knew he wanted to leave Orlando but didn’t know how to handle it like an adult..which he admits. You don’t want ppl to think you’re not loyal, but you know it’s not the best for your future if you stay. You please everyone else but in the end, when your bball career is over, you might not accomplish as much as you expect out of yourself and then you hate yourself for the rest of your life and wish you could do it all over again. It’s a big decision for a kid at 26 yr old. Ppl make mistakes all the time, it just doen’t look that bad bc theirs are not exposed to the public like Dwight’s situation.

      • Adam Speilberg says:

        how many “many ppl” can one have in one sentence?

      • Vino says:

        As many as Vino like to say… cus Vino says so. many ppl say many ppl agree with many ppl that Adam you’re a nobody that many ppl don’t care

  6. dmh says:

    You media guys and bloggers are rediculous!!! You stir up trouble where there is a calming of the waters constantly!

    Now with that being said, Dwight Howard needs a speech coach or an education or something!!! He needs to take a page out of the Lebron book and learn. Lebron did not win a championship until he quit spouting %$^&I&^% to the media and just simply put his head down and played! Lebron may have put gasoline on the flames at first with some of his statements about Ohio, the cavs, and Akron/Cleveland remarks as well as the Decision (worst pr move ever). He learned though and his media statements were never as bad as Dwight’s were. Dwight could have the same if he shut up and played.

    Now the magic (just like the cavs about 2-3 years ago) are obviously in the strip and rebuild mode. There will always be feelings and the media will always be the media. However if you handle yourself adequately, the media frenzy will die and history will declare you a winner. If you don’t, well……… ummmmm………………. look at the first half of the laker season and what is even going on to this day as exhibits A-Z.

    • Vino says:

      you’re obviously a Lebron’s kisser. Lebron this and Lebron that..Lebron is only winning because he has a super mega team with players in their prime. Kobe did the same with Shaq and Gasol when they were in their prime. You can’t compare Kobe now with Lebron prime. If you were to compare, Kobe only needed either Shaq or Gasol. Lebron needs Wade, Bosh, Battier, and now Allen. Dwight can just take a page out of Shaq’s book and he can be just fine like Shaq right now. If you’re good, it doesnt matter if fans from other team like you or not. Both Lebron and Kobe have kissers and haters, but they’re good players. the big message? Dont try to please everyone. Do whatever u feel like, just back it up with your talent and skills on the court and you’ll be fine. Shaq is doing fine. he’s still has championships and still working and ppl still watching his Shaqtin’ a fool.

    • Adam Speilberg says:

      I’m a fan of LeBron, but hello, we are talking about Howard here. Bron is “the King”, dwight is ” a drama queen”!!!

  7. W/E says:

    Now the Dwightmare is in Lakerland..we dont know what he is gunna do in the summer

  8. TTKIN says:

    Are there any videos or pics online of people burning their orlando dwight jerseys? that was everywhere ith Lebron, i havent heard of it happening w dwight.

    • Vino says:

      probably not. ppl got smarter. they know they can still sell the jersey for a few bucks rather than burning it off and spend more money on new ones. So not the next question is, is the Lakers the beneficiary or the next victim of the Dwightmare? Will Dwight handle it the same way he did in Orlando? cus it sure would look a lot worse since the media in LA is much bigger than it is in Orlando. Every lil thing will get blown up…

  9. boon says:

    give credit to howard.. not quitting, not wanting to leave, trade request and wanting a change. that truly pleases everyone. it’s the best way to apologize too. so yes, it really is the media’s fault.

  10. [...] Magic, Orlando Sentinel, Rashard Lewis, Stan Van Gundy, StayDwight.com, Steve Nash, Vince Carter / Comments (1) [...]

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    • NYLakers says:

      what the Magic needs to do is, to move on, hopefully win the lottery pick in the next couple year, and draft a dominate big man again. So by the time Dwight turn mid 30s, Magic can trade their new big man for Dwight from the Lakers. Of course, Magic will go to the Finals and lose to the Lakers one more time.

    • lakersfan4life says:

      Dwight’s game said a lot, they need to move on like DH12 has. Orlando Fans stop acting like babies and just wait for a lottery picks, plus you guys got a nice talented young players to be develop in a few years the Magics will be doing a lot better. That video was immature.