Dwight Howard’s relationship with most fans, and especially those in Orlando, isn’t too strong right now. After essentially holding the Magic hostage a few years ago, he forced his way out and landed in another sun-filled city when he was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers. That experiment really couldn’t have gone worse, and once again this summer, all eyes were on Dwight Howard. For a few weeks, he once again took hostages – this time in the form of pretty much the whole NBA community – and eventually decided on joining James Harden and the Houston Rockets.
Ahead of Howard and the Rockets’ preseason game against the Magic, Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel caught up with Howard and talked to him about his time in Orlando and his decision to join the Rockets this summer.
Howard told Robbins that he feels bad about what happened in Orlando, but that ultimately, he’s happy with how everything worked out.
“There were some things that I missed about Orlando,” Howard said. “There’s a lot of situations that nobody really knows that I kept on the inside, but there’s some things about Orlando that I missed. I’d say that getting out in the community and doing a lot of stuff that I did, I miss doing that stuff in Orlando and the relationships that I built with a lot of people over there in Orlando. I miss that.
“But I have no regrets. I’m happy everything happened the way it happened. Even though I got hurt in the process and I had to go through a tough time, it made me a better person. I’m more mature now. I know how to handle situations different than I did back then.”
Another highlight from their conversation was that Howard is unhappy about his number not being retired. (Tobias Harris currently wears Howard’s old #12.)
“I just think that despite whatever happened, there was a lot of things that I did and that we did as a team, and that number was special down there,” Howard said. “And I was a little bit upset about that.”
Certainly some interesting comments from Howard here. First of all, of course he feels happy about the way things worked out. He just signed a monster free agent contract for millions and millions of dollars and has a chance to contend for championships. Not having regrets about how he handled everything doesn’t really show the maturity that he talks about later in the quote.
As for being upset about not having his number retired; that seems a bit silly. Numbers aren’t retired on a regular basis, and they certainly aren’t retired for players who held the franchise hostage and forced his way out to the dismay of a whole city. Once again, not understanding the Magic’s perspective on this doesn’t show the maturity he talked about earlier.
Howard, Harden and company will likely make a deep run in the playoffs, and everything will be great for Dwight. Orlando, however, is left in rebuilding mode, wondering about what could have been had “Superman” stayed in town.