When news first broke out that the Lakers landed Dwight Howard, I caught myself furiously typing away at my Facebook and Twitter pages, unable to contain my excitement.
Then I realized, this deal isn’t final until David Stern says so. My initial reactions then were,
Now, 24 hours later, we can officially say it: Dwight Howard is a Laker.
And so is Gasol, still. (For now?)
Anyway, as I’m writing this, I’m also watching the live streaming of Dwight Howard’s introduction as a Laker. I do feel bad for him, because while this is supposed to be a very happy day (and it is for us Lakers fans) he cannot seem to escape the questions surrounding his very public and downright ugly departure from the Orlando Magic. I keep hearing the words “fresh start”, “today is all about the Lakers”, “I’m just blessed to be here”, “I’m just glad its over with”, “no need to go back to the past”, come out of his mouth, with a tinge of pleading, maybe, to get away from what has happened in Orlando, and just allow him to start anew.
Unfortunately, I don’t think basketball fans will be too forgiving. I mean, for one, let’s all admit it. Dwight was able to do what I thought was impossible: He was able to out-villain Lebron and make “The Decision” a little less unpalatable (it didn’t help that Lebron finally won a championship). Okay I admit, that’s taking it too far. “The Decision” will forever stand in its place.
Going back to Dwight, the long process of his eventual departure, dubbed the “Dwightmare” all but sucked out the goodwill fans generally had towards him. So I guess it is right, LA offers him a fresh start. But it’s not going to be easy. As a Lakers fan, I can already sense we’re being looked at as Miami Heat 2.0 – the team everybody wants to hate. What’s not to hate, anyway? Dwight Howard, Steve Nash, Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol all in one team?! Add in Metta World Peace, and we’ve got arguably the strongest starters in the NBA!
But I’m not here writing to bash Howard – of course not. He’s now on my team. I’m merely stating the facts. What I’m writing about is that after all is said and done, I really truly hope this works out for the Lakers; for Dwight, for Kobe, for Pau, for Mitch, and for all Lakers fans. I mean, simply, I hope to see RINGS :D
After all, that’s what’s expected from such blockbuster deals like this, right?
And that’s how Howard will get back to the good graces of basketball fans, right?
Just like Lebron.
So Dwight, welcome to the Lakers!