You either die a hero, or live long enough to see yourself become the villain..
Commissioner Gordon said it best in The Dark Knight, and this quote couldn’t be more true for Rockets All-Star Dwight Howard. The dominant center had no intentions of letting his career come to an end without a legit shot of winning a championship. Howard believed that he had a better chance of achieving his goal outside of Orlando and Los Angeles, so he has become one of the league’s most hated for his two defections.
Despite the hard feelings, the Magic decided to play a tribute video for Howard during the second quarter of last nights game in Orlando. The video featured highlights of Howard’s good old days in a Magic uniform, and of course the fans gave Howard some heartfelt boos to make him feel welcome. The boos didn’t help at all as the Rockets cruised to a 101-89 victory. Howard wasn’t phased either as he finished the game with 19 points and 13 rebounds, which is also his 41st double-double this season.
The writing was on the wall for both departures from Orlando and LA, but Howard’s exit from Orlando hurt the Magic organization a lot more than the Los Angeles Lakers. Howard led the Magic to the franchise’s second NBA Finals in 2009 and they ultimately lost to the Lakers. The Magic haven’t been relevant since and currently have the third worst record in the league.
Check out the video of the Orlando crowd reacting to Howard’s tribute video.
-Patrick Hazel (@pattywack25)