Dwight Howard, the current center for the Houston Rockets, loves the spotlight of the media, and he loves to joke around, but for some reason he seems to be hopping from franchise to franchise. How could someone who seems to smile so much and be such a comedian leave animosity in his wake? The answer is that he is not that talented of a comedian, in fact he is awful, and his antics get on his teammates’ and coaches’ nerves. What he should focus on is basketball because that is what he is being paid millions of dollars to do. Trust me, if he did not play basketball, he would probably have to pay people to listen and laugh at his jokes. There is a time and place for joking around, and there is a time and place to be serious, and Dwight Howard does not seem to have the ability to differentiate between the two.
For those who may not have heard, the Los Angeles Lakers have moved on from Dwight Howard after he left in free agency to the Houston Rockets, as has the city of Los Angeles. In a poll conducted by ESPNLA, 96 percent of people said that they did not miss Dwight Howard. This statistic is completely understandable. Wherever Dwight Howard went, there was a media circus, and he loved it. The reporters would always have something to ask him, and he would always have something to say, no matter if the situation would have been best handled with no comment. But that is the way Dwight Howard is. He loves the spotlight, but only when he can handle it. Apparently he did not like the spotlight in LA, because that was too much for him. Hopefully he can thrive in Houston, where he has teamed up with one of the best guards in the league, James Harden, because he was unable to succeed with the best shooting guard in the league, Kobe Bryant.
With Kobe out with a torn achilles tendon, the Lakers faced Dwight Howard’s new team, the Houston Rockets, on November 7. In this game Dwight Howard contributed more to a Lakers win than he ever did when he was actually on the team, by missing seven free throws in the fourth quarter, when he was continually fouled and sent to the free throw line. This inability to make his free throws allowed the Kobe-less Lakers to stay in the game, and eventually win it on a three-pointer by backup point guard, Steve Blake. Dwight Howard’s failure to make his free throws in crucial moments of games is one of the things that infuriated Lakers fans. He wanted to be as good as Shaquille O’Neal, who was also a notoriously bad free throw shooter, but he has never been able to dominate a game on the offensive end like Shaq did.
When asked about his free throw shooting in the loss, he responded with “Our free throws were terrible. We just have to keep working.” The funny thing is that his team made 78 percent of their free throws, while he only made 31 percent. Instead of taking responsibility for his terrible free throw shooting, he blamed it on the team as a whole, so he would not have to deal with the blame, even though his team was in no way responsible for bad free throw shooting. This is just an example of what he has been doing his whole career. When the cameras are on him, and he has everyone’s attention, he loves it, and seems to be addicted to it. However, as soon as he receives any negative attention, you begin to see him blame everyone from the coaching staff to his own teammates.
While his own teammates are taking responsibility for their actions, Dwight Howard is blaming them, and skirting any possible repercussions. What will soon become apparent, when the Rockets do not go deep into the playoffs is that there is a reason why Dwight Howard has never won a championship, and probably never will. In 2010 when his Orlando Magic team made it to the NBA Finals, they were defeated handily by the Lakers. Three years later, that same Lakers team surrounded him with three other future Hall of Famers, and they struggled to even make the playoffs and had a worse record than before he got there. The Houston Rockets will sadly come to realize that Dwight Howard will not be mature enough to win a championship.