Tag Archives: 2009

“The End Of Drama In Orlando”- Dwight Howard Traded To Lakers

After playing eight seasons for the Orlando Magic, Dwight Howard has been traded to the Los Angeles Lakers.  The trade had been rumored since yesterday became a reality on Friday.  The trade involved The Lakers, Magic, Nuggets and 76ers.  The Lakers ended up with Howard and sent Andrew Bynum to the 76ers who also recieved Jason Richardson from the Magic.  The Nuggest landed Andre Iguodala from the 76ers while the Magic received Arron Afflalo, Al Harrington, Nikola Vucevic, Moe Harkless, three 1st round picks and a second round pick for 2013.  It was the mega trade we had been expecting almost the entire summer.

Dwight Howard is leaving Orlando as a villain.   He skipped out on a charity event recently in Orlando, that wasn’t going to win him any fans.  Howard has been playing hardball with the team since the season ended. Yet the team still tried anything they could to make him happy enough to stay.  The Magic fired coach Stan Van Gundy in May and the previous GM to appease Howard.  Howard did not care he still wanted to leave as a free agent.  The Magic had been that road before with Shaq in 1996 and were not about to let that happen this time around.

When trade rumors started Howard demanded going to the Brooklyn Nets and nowhere else.  Howard put the team in a rough situation by lowering his trade value.  He stated that he would not resign with any team other than the Nets or Mavericks when his contract is up after this season.   A lot of interested teams quickly ran away not wanting to lose a lot for a one year stand with Dwight.  Luckily for the Magic they were able to put together a deal that they can build a team for the future with.  The team is ready to get on with life and with Dwight Howard out of the picture will be able to.

Dwight Howards legacy with the Magic will be a tarnished one.  A story of feuding with his coach, stirring up trouble for the team and alienating himself from the fans of Orlando.  The City of Orlando had been waiting for a star when they drafted Dwight in 2004.   The team wanted to win a championship with Howard and the closest they came was the 2009 NBA Finals.  The Lakers squashed the Magic in that year and the team never returned to the championship game since.  The Magic should have realized earlier that Howard was not the man that could take them to a title.

Howard is now officially the most hated man in the NBA and it will not change anytime soon.  He cares not about the team but himself.  Howard has made his bed and no he has to sleep in it.  Good riddance Dwight Howard.

It’s Time For The Magic To Trade Dwight Howard

The NBA Draft is coming up this week and that means many story lines for many teams will take a twist through trades and picks.  The biggest possible trade story leading up to the Draft is will the Magic trade Dwight Howard away for some great picks or even top level players.  I have no faith that the Magic will take advantage of teams wanting Howard and wanting him now.   Teams like the Houston Rockets are trading players and moving up in the 1st round with 3 picks in the top 20 as of Tuesday.  Howard’s contract is up in 2013 and the Rockets want him prior to his contract expiring.  The Magic might have a good opportunity to do something about their “Dwight Drama”.

Dwight Howard on draft day 2004 after being selected with the 1st overall pick by the Magic.
(Getty Images)

The Story of Dwight Howard and the Magic has been a complicated one.  The Magic drafted Howard out of high school in 2004 with the 1st overall pick.  Howard over the years has developed into one of the best big men in the game and has had some success with the team.  Howard led the Magic to the 2009 NBA Finals where they were defeated by the Los Angeles Lakers in 5 games.  The Magic have been contenders in the Eastern Conference for the last few years in large part to Howard.  Dwight Howard has however also brought a lot of controversy to Orlando with his talent.  He had a very public feud with the Magic’s former Head Coach Stan Van Gundy.  It got really ugly during last season and Van Gundy was fired earlier this summer.  Howard also brought drama near the trade deadline when he was not signing his clause to come back for his final year of his contract.  He ended up signing hours before the deadline and the Magic did not trade him.  It was a smart move for the Magic to put the pressure on Howard and to not trade him at the time when a trade for him would not yield enough in return for the Magic.

I say the time to pull the trigger is on draft night.  The Magic could possibly be offered some really good deals and should strongly consider every one they receive.  The Magic need not look to far into their past to be reminded why they should get rid of Howard before his contract expires.

In 1996 Shaq left the Magic for the Lakers in a similar situation where the team was not willing to give him exactly what he wanted and headed elsewhere.  Shaq left and the Magic had nothing to show for it, they would have gotten a mega trade if they would have just looked around instead of fooling themselves that they could resign him.

Dwight Howard has made it no secret that he would like to play for the soon to be Nets of Brooklyn or for the Dallas Mavericks.  The relationship between the Magic and Howard is just too volatile for it to continue.  The Magic for a long time have been fooling themselves again that like Shaq that they can resign the star.  I think there is no way he would sign with the Magic again even if the money was right.  Howard is an awesome talent but he is just not going to stay with the team any longer than he needs to. The Magic cannot afford to have Howard leave and get nothing in return.  He is too good of a talent and a player of his caliber could yield players that could build this team for the future. The Magic owe it to the city of Orlando and their fans to send Howard packing.  So as the saying goes “THE TIME IS NOW!”

The MLB Draft, Do You Care?

Bud Selig at the 2010 MLB Draft
(Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

The 2012 Major League Baseball Draft starts today.  Many baseball fans with the exception of the die hard fans don’t care about it or even know it happening today.  This will be the fourth year the 1st round has been televised.  Much like the NFL’s Draft, MLB will hold the event in New York City.  It will also start in prime time at 7pm EST.  There is however a big difference between the MLB Draft and the NBA and NFL Drafts.

The NBA and NFL have both had televised drafts for many year.  Both leagues have been really successful with their drafts.  Building fan excitement every year when the NFL draft approaches.  The NBA also has a lot of fan attention leading to their June draft every year.  Baseball wants very much to bring the same excitement to their draft.

The MLB draft will not reach the level of the other sports drafts anytime soon.  There are many things baseball has going against it.  One of the blaring problems is lack of star power and players the fans can connect with.  Many of the top players come out of the high school level.  Unlike football,  high school baseball is not followed as closely by many fans and usually only the die hard fans keep up with that level.  The other players come from college baseball which like the previous topic is not followed by fans has much as football or basketball’s college level.  Nor does college baseball get the same media attention during their season. There have been a few players that carried a lot of attention going into baseballs June Draft.  Two of the most recent “big hype” national media type stars where the Washington Nationals Stephen Strasburg in 2009 and Bryce Harper in 2010. We won’t be seeing any baseball players going into the draft with the same media attention anytime soon.

When the stars are selected most don’t see the big leagues for at least a year.  Some players need 2 to 5 years to develop to be major league ready.  The NBA and NFL have the ability to excite fans with their drafts because the players will be on the field with the big clubs within months.  Many player go on to a lot of success even in their first year in the other leagues.  Baseball cannot do anything about this particular problem.  Its a system that has worked for many years, it just does not cater to the draft.

For decades baseball held their draft non televised.  In 2009 they started to air the 1st round on their MLB Network.  Many fans won’t watch because they just can’t.  The MLB Network is carried in far less homes than the networks that air the NBA and NFL Drafts.  If fans did tune in they would see a room with very charismatic (I am being sarcastic) MLB Commissioner Bud Selig and a bunch of team representatives and only a couple of players if any in attendance.  You would be better off just checking the internet to find out and not waste your time watching the broadcast.

MLB has a lot they need to work on to make the Draft watchable and to increase excitement for it.  The first thing they need to work on is getting more players involved in the event.  Having player in attendance would help the broadcast, with the players showing emotion and excitement when selected by the clubs.  The MLB needs to also work on getting the names and faces of the upcoming draft prospects out there.  They could broadcast high school games featuring top prospects.  Finally baseball needs to get a deal with a better network to air the event.  That probably won’t happen until they improve the first two problems I previously stated.

Baseball is a great game and the draft deserves just as much fan fare as the other leagues.  Until baseball can make the fans care we are going to have an event like we will see tonight, an unwatched and mostly unknown happening.