HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – Foolish me, I thought cooler heads might prevail and that they’d be able to salvage a little something in Orlando this season.
They’re all grownups, right? They’ve learned from the mistakes of others, seen how dangerous that road to breakup can be. No one wants this to be more painful than it has to be. So I assumed that no one would let this situation deteriorate into some sort of mess.
Again, I was wrong. (I know, plenty of you tried to warn me last week. Silly me.)
There is no magic way out for the Magic and their Dwight Howard dilemma. I just don’t see it right now on the heels of the Magic losing four of five games and coming apart in the process.
Howard started the weekend blasting his teammates after a despicable loss to the lowly New Orleans Hornets:
“I look at guys and they don’t look like they want to play,” Howard said following the lopsided loss. “I told them at halftime, ‘If you don’t want to play, just stay in the locker room, because it don’t make sense for a team who we should beat to just demolish us.’ “
“It hurts to get out there and you play your hardest and you expect everybody to play the same way, and I’m not calling anybody out by no means because we all have to get better … but if you don’t want to be out there, don’t dress up,” Howard said. “If you don’t want to play, stay home. People work too hard. I want to win a championship. I work too hard every night for anybody to not want to go out there and play hard. …
“None of the — whatever, trade stuff — none of that stuff matters. Play basketball. That’s why we all get paid to do this, because we love the game and it’s basketball, so why not give it your all?”
He finished the weekend with crickets … Howard didn’t make himself available after the Pacers waxed the Magic in the second half Sunday at the Amway Center. And his silence says more to me than any emotional words he might utter after an ugly loss.
The fact is, five games in seven days has a way of exposing a team, and the cracks within its foundation, that the good times simply do not.