Zach Tennen on Basketball - NBA and College
Michigan native Zachary Tennen is a basketball expert and blogs about his basketball perspective
Wednesday, July 3, 2013
Dwight Howard has career-changing decision to make
I’m going to try to say this so it makes sense: This is about Dwight Howard but it’s not just about Dwight Howard. ”Dwight Howard this, Dwight Howard that. Dwight Howard needs to do this. Dwight Howard needs to do that. Dwight Howard needs to stop doing so-and-so.” Quiet down and let the man make his decision. He needed to go to another state, for god’s sake, just to have breathing room to make his decision.
Here’s what I mean when I say it’s not just about Dwight Howard: Yes, Dwight Howard is the topic of conversation and all eyes are on “Superman.” However, this is more than a superstar drawing a ton of public attention. I cannot stress enough how big this decision is for Dwight Howard. The words that come out of Howard’s mouth could be a significant turning point in the 27-year-old’s valuable career.
If you’re reading this, you are probably aware of the so-called “Dwight-mare” that happened with Orlando in the 2011-12 season. That was the start of all the negativity coming Howard’s way. Now, he has a chance to fix that by making the right decision. Most of America hated LeBron James’ guts when he fled Cleveland for Miami but now people just focus on the rings he is winning.
Dwight Howard needs to try and take the same path that LeBron took. He needs to put everything else aside and do what is best for him and him only. I can’t imagine how stressful it must be for Dwight right now with teams and players swarming him. I’m sure both Kobe Bryant and the Houston Rockets have brought up important points to Dwight that have really gotten him thinking hard. However, he can’t let another team or person control his mind and convince him that they know what’s ultimately best for him.
Now, let’s briefly take a look at each potential (and realistic) scenario for Dwight Howard:
Re-signing with the Lakers: After that big mess in Orlando, Dwight Howard was finally traded and Orlando decided to part ways with their old GM. The Lakers were highly regarded as a pre-season favorite in the Western Conference. Obviously, that didn’t work out too well. Age is a huge problem for this team;: Kobe will be 35 by the time the next season starts and he is likely to miss a couple months. 39-year-old Steve Nash finally lost some gas last season and sat out through a few injuries. Pau Gasol is turning 33 years old in just a couple days and he is definitely past his best days. Dwight Howard would be the man of the Lakers’ franchise for years to come. But I’m not sure that Dwight has the patience to wait for a younger and more competitive team to be built around him. I don’t blame him either; Howard is at the stage of his career where his legacy would really benefit from being on a legitimate contender.
Joining James Harden and the Houston Rockets: The possibility of joining forces with James Harden, one of the NBA’s newest superstars, has sounded appealing to Dwight for some time. If Dwight does decide to bolt for Houston, good for him. He would be leaving one of the most powerful markets in all of sports and he probably wouldn’t get as many endorsements, but here’s the twist: that Texas tax law would still put him in a great position, financially. I don’t know where exactly he would be earning the most money after taxes, endorsements, and whatever else there is but that probably isn’t a huge concern to him. Wherever Dwight goes, he’s earning a ton of money. Howard on Houston would make them a great team out West, assuming he can stay healthy and play his role.
Signing with Dallas, Atlanta, or sign-and-trade to Golden State: If I had to guess, I think Dwight will end up narrowing down his choice to the Lakers or Rockets, if he hasn’t already. But I guess there’s always a rare possibility of one of these teams make something crazy happen, prompting Howard to join their team.
Now, we must eagerly await Dwight Howard’s monstrous decision. My final input is: wherever Dwight Howard decides to go, respect it. He’s only doing what’s best for himself and his career.