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Dwight Howard Free Agency Watch: Part 3

One thing that’s interesting is that in all of the discussion of Lebron’s greatness these past few years, not once, or if I missed it, very seldom is it, or has it been brought up that he “took the easy way out” and joined forces with Wade and Bosh.  Funny because in all of the venomous idiocy surrounding the discussion of his decision a few years back, most of the critics made this claim: that whatever he did would be tarnished because he jumped ship.  And it hasn’t happened.  No one cares.

It’s the latest of proofs that in general, people forget and the latest of reasons why, if you are an athlete, you should always serve your own interests.  Dwight Howard claims that he is done trying to make everyone happy and will make his decision based on his own right for the emotion.  We’ll see if he can be believed.  Dwight’s train of thought two years back when he decided to opt back in to appease those who now hate him in Orlando was one of the most embarrassing acts of immaturity I can remember in recent history, an episode through which the man created his own ultimate detriment (keeping him from his desired Brooklyn Nets).  What will he do this time?

If you’re a player, always take the money.  (Or at the least, the situation you want.)  Never play hurt.  Why?  Because they’ll ship your ass out the moment it becomes convenient.  And the public forgets.  The public always forgets.  No one is giving Grant Hill a medal for the valor of coming back too soon to play on a bad ankle, consequently destroying a surefire HOF career.  We backhandedly pat him on the back as one would do to a young child for a good effort for being able to eventually make it back and last – but we don’t praise him for “toughing” it out and playing injured when with Detroit.  Kudos to you, Derrick Rose.  If you don’t feel ready, then don’t come back.  The masses poking fun at your ‘cowardice’ for sitting out won’t be the ones pitching in to make up the millions you’ll lose if something goes wrong.

I’ve argued that the players’ union needs to do a better job educating players to better serve their own interests and ignore public sentiment.

(sidenote: Once of the most hilariously preposterous moments I can remember was, during I believe Larry Bird’s HOF ceremony [or perhaps Magic’s], the two former greats [Larry and Magic] chuckled in unison to the crowd’s delight, regarding Lebron’s departure, remarking that they never would have teamed up and joined forces.  Of course conveniently ignoring the fact that each had the benefit of playing alongside some of the greatest star-studded casts in NBA history and didn’t need to team up.)

What happens if Howard stays in L.A., and the Lakers never reclaim former glory?  He’ll be seen as a flop in the public eye – an unworthy successor upon the Rushmore of Laker greats.  Sure, he could just as well flop in Houston.  And he’d be seen as a disappointment here for that too.  But the point is that he should do what makes him happy and not what pleases others.  Wherever he fails, he’ll draw scorn.  And if he succeeds, wherever it is, history has proven that it will all be forgiven and forgotten.

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About the author: Rahat Huq is a lawyer in real life and the founder and editor-in-chief of www.Red94.net.

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