According to All-Star Center Dwight Howard, the reason he is wanting to leave Orlando is because he has not been asked to participate in the personnel decisions in building the team. Now I’m sure many people are going to say, “Dwight.You’re job is to play basketball. Running the team is someone else’s job. Shut up and play.” But really, let’s stop and think about this for a minute.
Most of us have had jobs working for someone else. Have you ever had your boss ask you if you knew somebody who might be a good fit? It’s nice to able to get your friends hired on to work with you. You some people you work well with. It’s a good thing. Why can’t basketball work that way? Especially when Dwight Howard is your best employee?
Howard, rather fair or not, is going to get either the credit or the blame for what happens to the team. Would it be so wrong to ask him his opinion on who should be helping him out? Bill Parcells when he demanded to be both the GM and Head Coach of the Cowboys said “If you’re asking me to cook dinner, shouldn’t I be able to shop for the groceries?” Well, in a sense, Dwight is being asked to make dinner. At least let him go along on the grocery trip and throw a couple of items in the basket?
Is Otis Smith and the other upper management of the Magic’s egos more important than the Magic keeping the best big man in the game? What can it possibly hurt to go to Dwight and say, “Hey big guy, we got a chance to get so-and-so. What’s your thoughts?” Or how about, “we need a two guard. Give me a list of your top five and we’ll try to go after someone on the list.” What could that hurt? I would think it beats losing your star player because he wants to feel like his opinions matter at least a little. Who among us really wants to work somewhere our suggestions fall on deaf ears? This is especially true if the reason is not because the suggestions are bad, but because it came from a nobody at the bottom of the food chain.
If the Orlando Magic lose Dwight Howard, many fans will view Howard as another Shaq. But I don’t. Shaq gave Magic fans the finger on the way out the door. He would have left Orlando regardless. That is why as a Magic supporter, he is scum to me. Howard has said repeatedly that he loves Orlando. He loves the city and he loves the fans. But he has to put himself in the best situation to win. He is right when he says as a player, you only get one shot at this. There are no do-overs. If he feels the Magic front office is not putting him in the best position to win a title, and won’t even let him have any say in the matter, and he can go somewhere else where they will give him at least that, then I can’t really blame him for wanting to go to that team. Supposedly, Mark Cuban gives Dirk Nowitzki’s suggestions some thought before he makes personnel decisions. That seems to be working well for them both. I don’t see any reason why Otis and Dwight can’t get together and do the same.