Remember when Dwight Howard used to do fun stuff like this, (or any of the other slam dunk contests against Nate Robinson, even if that battle did get old after a while) or stuff like this:
What has happened to the Dwight we used to know and love (kinda). Earlier this week Howard complained about touches following a loss to the Chicago Bulls, and then took the statement back two days later calling his earlier statement “immature.” (source) This is just the latest in a string of incidents in the last few years. Many felt Howard gave up on the Orlando Magic last season after expressing a desire to be traded. Former Orlando coach Stan Van Gundy, who had a notoriously shaky relationship with Howard, accused the star of pushing to get the coach dismissed from the team. (source) Howard’s production in Los Angeles, and his relationship with Kobe Bryant have been so bad that many have been forced to say that Howard may just not fit with the Lakers. Kobe Bryant has been trying to teach Howard to have more of the edge he feels all great players need (the following is a quote from Bryant during an interview with Sam Amick of USA Today).
“He wants to be one of the greats of all time, and to do that you have to learn from the greats of all time – be it Bill Russell, be it Shaq. I mean Shaq was a moody, temperamental dude. So if you watch all the big men who have come before, you start to see a common denominator.
“Wilt (Chamberlain), God bless him, was phenomenal, but he didn’t have (the same edge). Russell and (those) guys win repetitive – (Michael) Jordan, Magic (Johnson), myself. You’ve got a little (expletive) in you. I want (Howard) to be great, so I’m trying to push him.”
In the article (link) Amick refers to Howard’s personality as passive aggressive, and say’s Bryant may be trying to teach the big man a lesson he doesn’t want to learn. Time (and probably not a lot of it since Howard is currently on the trading block) will tell if Bryant can bring Howard around to his way of thinking. Maybe Howard just doesn’t have that edge in him, as Kobe said not everyone has it, and I’m sure Howard would settle for being as good as Wilt. Instead of trying to find an edge I wish Howard would focus on finding himself, and go back to being the fun, goofy guy of old. I think going back to his old self would make Howard more fun to watch, and get his production back on track, a fact that would cheer up fantasy owners around the country.