Championship-Less Dwight Howard Says He’s Still A Champion, Surely His Mother Agrees
Outside Houston, you’d be hard pressed to find a sports fan that actively likes Rockets big man Dwight Howard. He played one disappointing season in Los Angeles before bailing as a free agent last summer, which alienated an easily angered Lakers fan base.
Not that the rest of us are too worried about the hurt feelings his LA exit left—Lakers fans have had more than their share of success over the years to qualify for any sympathy. The same sentiment that goes for Cowboys and Yankees fans, obviously.
It was really Howard’s excruciatingly ugly and painful exit from Orlando that turned the national tide against him. Leading up to his first free agency since being drafted No. 1 overall by the Magic in 2004, Howard spent nearly two years talking out of both sides of his mouth about whether or not he’d stay.
In March 2012, Howard made a big show about how he was committed to the Magic, when he signed a waiver that said he would not opt out of his final season in Orlando. The team bent over backwards to keep him happy, first by firing coach Stan Van Gundy, then later general manager Otis Smith.
For all Howard’s bluster about loyalty, it soon became clear he had no future with the Magic and was traded to the Lakers. By the time he left Los Angeles a year later, he had gone from one of the most popular athletes in the country to one of the most hated. And he remains so today.
Maybe it’s because for all the hubbub surrounding this guy over the last few years, he has yet to really accomplish anything. A perennial All-Star, sure, but he’s never been named the league MVP—he hasn’t even gotten close since the 2010-11 season) and after losing in five games to the Warriors in the Western Conference Finals on Wednesday, Howard has still yet to win a championship.
He’s been in the league for 11 years and has made it to the Finals just once, with the Magic losing to the Lakers in five games back in 2009. Though despite coming up short once again, Howard was surprisingly positive about the situation in his postgame comments following Game 5.
Sayeth Howard, “It’s tough, but I won’t stop fighting. I’m going to continue to push myself to the limit and remember that, no matter how the season ends, I’m still a champion. And I won’t let anyone tell me anything different.”
Howard is lucky Steph Curry is too nice to give him a reality check on this one. Although routinely making him look like a punk throughout the series should have been reality check enough.
Dwight Howard is delusional.