Defending Dwight

It’s official. D12 is a Rocket and he is officially shipping off from the sunny shores of LA to go down to the dirty, syrup sippin’ city known as H-Town.

If you’ve ever been to Houston or had the pleasure to live in Houston you know that there are certain truths about the city: 1) It’s blistering hot 2) It’s incredibly dirty 3) It’s Texas (so most likely you love it).

Now if it were me, I would never choose to live in Houston short of getting the same type of deal that Dwight is getting with the Rockets.

I believe Dwight made the right decision with this free agency and handled himself with his decision right…despite all of the crap everyone wants to give him. He’s going to a team where he can finally enjoy himself, going to learn from one of the all time greats in McHale and save millions of dollars by avoiding state income tax (via Texas state law).

At first, like everyone else, I was temporarily outraged at how I perceived Dwight’s handling of his decision. I even went as far as texting my brother and a few friends (after a few Jack & Coke’s of course) saying “everything I just wrote about Dwight last week is officially cancelled”. But after I began to sober up and process the information, I thought Dwight actually did a very good job of handling himself and the criticism he faced in the process.

dwight-howard-rockets-avatarI hope that pro-D12 statement rings controversial to your liking. Hell, I don’t really blame those that have really had a negative opinion formed on Dwight for these last couple of years. Even the majority of pundits and former athletes agree with the associated crowd of despisers and haters. But you know what, Dwight has become the public’s punching bag. He’s become our puppet. So much so that we have the right to do and say whatever we want about him.

But what did Dwight really do here that justifies all of the criticism? How soon can we fans forget what we said in the last 24 months…

When Lebron took to ESPN to announce that he was going to Miami, we lambasted him for his arrogance and couldn’t believe any athlete would put himself on that type of pedestal. On the other side of fence when Kevin Durant signed an extension (just shortly after LBJ’s “decision”), he tweeted his announcement. What happened? We praised the “humble superstar”. We saw this as a classy, all-business move in the sense that an athlete attempted to divert as much attention away from him and simply move on and get going.

So with that all said, WTF am I missing here?

When Dwight announced that he would give his decision via Twitter, the world all of a sudden threw patience out the door and criticized him. Statements such as: “I can’t believe Dwight is doing this on Twitter”, “He’s going to make us wait, #Dwightmare”, “he is just screwing other free agents from making their decisions”, and my personal favorite from an NBA pundit “why didn’t this guy just make a reality TV show or a special on this? Everyone would watch”.

Wait, I thought that Twitter was a humble, classy medium for NBA players to broadcast what your career plans? Not anymore? Okay…

Wait, Dwight participated in work outs, met with every team that wanted to compete for him, engaged back and forth with upper management & player personnel to understand direction of the team, the type of guys he’d be playing with and the coach/system he would be playing in? Dwight doesn’t care about that? Alright…

Wait, Dwight has maintained during the last two years that he wants to explore what Free Agency is like and wants to go to a team to win? Don’t believe him? That’s fine, he’s at least on record for it…

Dwight may not be perfect. He is definitely not the smartest big guy to ever play the game. He has made some rash decisions and come across as a baby to the media at times. Not to mention he also has much stiffer competition at the center position today than he did 5 years ago (you know, when Andrew Bynum was the second best center in the league).

At the very least, it is vital to realize that what Dwight has done is not wrong. Hate and criticize all that you want, but at the end of the day you have to put yourself into his shoes… his big mother f****n’ shoes, and ask yourself what more he should have done… The answer is nothing.

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