Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports
On one hand, we hold a little bit (but not much) of love in our hearts for Dwight Howard. After all, he is the first bona fide superstar to EVER say he wanted to join the Nets, the first superstar to EVER demand a trade to the Nets.
Other superstars have threatened to play in Italy if selected by the Nets in the draft (Kobe Bryant) or faked a migraine to show how badly he wanted out (Jason Kidd) or admitted to screaming for joy when he learned he'd been traded (Vince Carter).
Of course all that ended when in the early morning hours of March 15, 2012 he decided to waive his early termination option and stay with the Magic for the rest of the year. Nets executives who thought they were going to complete their master plan that morning woke up instead to news the deal was off, because of Howard. He ruined their day and every Nets fans' day, week, season. He ruined his friendship with Deron Williams and saw his already tattered reputation further worn.
Now, in an interview with Stephen A. Smith (who else?), Howard is asked about the situation (aka Dwightmare) and about any regrets he might have. In a case of monumental duplicity, Howard blames it all on circumstance, or it seems, the Magic. "I know what I wanted to do. It wasn't allowed. And that situation is behind me."
Perhaps he was referring not to the March 15 fiasco, but the Nets attempts to trade for him over the summer, when the Nets tried not once, but twice to get him, ending only when they thought they were going to lose Brook Lopez to the Bobcats. (What's not well known is that he and Dan Fegan were putting a lot of pressure on the Nets to get it done.) Those attempts, of course that wouldn't have been unnecessary if he had just decided to show some courage back on March 15.
Now, Howard is hurting, out vs. the Nets on Tuesday, with what is now a chronic bad back and bad shoulder. His team is 22-26 and his teammates criticize his play and he theirs. One wants to be traded if he's back. Bother him? "I love where I'm at. I have no problem with L.A."
- D12 on Nets: Can't think about that - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York