Can we start calling Dwight Howard a more suitable name Dwight “Romney,” a play on Howard’s six-month flip-flop surrounding his impending free-agent talks.
The final hours until Thursday’s 3 p.m. ET NBA trade deadline have disintegrated into complete chaos surrounding the future of the Orlando Magic center
After Howard repeatedly changed his mind Wednesday on whether to sign a waiver for his contract’s early termination option for the 2012-13 season – he told Magic officials he would be back next season then told them later in the day he wouldn’t commit to signing the waiver, allowing him to enter free agency on July 1 – he delivered a late-night interview to a basketball website that incredibly reversed course again.
Howard told RealGM he would sign the paperwork for the waiver to remain with the Magic through the 2012-13 season and forgo free agency.
“Man, listen, you know my heart, my soul and everything I have is in Orlando,” Howard told RealGM. “I just can’t leave it behind.”
Then, in a stunning admission, Howard threw his handlers under the bus, claiming he received “bad advice” for last year of his free-agent talks fiasco.
“I apologize for this circus I have caused to the fans of our city,” he said. “They didn’t deserve none of this.”
In the last 24 hour news cycle, Howard publicly and privately exclaimed to his teammates his desire to return to the Magic although numerous reports, which we now know were leaked by his advisors, reportedly had the seven-footer out the door to New Jersey Nets, a franchise relocating to Brooklyn, New York in 2013.
Howard — who wants to the public to believe that behind his movie-star smile and child-like goofiness is a mature leader of men on the basketball court — will take a hit to his rep within basketball communities, as most people, even though they may hate LeBron James for “The Decision,” want a captain to be firm in his convictions.
According to Yahoo!, Howard will have to somehow deflect this major distraction and maneuver his team back into title contention in the Eastern Conference, but some NBA insiders feel this season may be lost:
“Dwight doesn’t want to be the bad guy,” one source involved in the process said of Howard’s past 24 hours. “He doesn’t want to be unpopular. He flaked out.”