Friday, July 20, 2012
DWIGHT HOWARD AND NBA: DIVAS R US
Say this about the NBA, they know drama. Get a superstar diva with a little bit a
leverage and the league turns into a soap opera like "Days Of Our Lives." The star of
one episode throws a hissy fit and gets his coach fired. The star of another one
demands to be traded, but if it's not a team of his liking, he'll just say no and pout as
he runs up and down the floor while cashing $10 million checks after the game.
All this diva drama really started with LeBron James and the pursuit of his heinous.
During his free-agency period, teams pursued him like 18-year old kids who thought
they had a shot with Angelina Jolie. They dripped, drooled, groveled, and did everything
they could to make sure the object of their desire was happy. It was quite pathetic, actually.
Lebron put the cherry bomb on top of this ridiculous chase by making the "Decision" on
ESPN, which embarrassed not only his former employer, the Cleveland Cavaliers, but
the chosen one, himself. It turned into a nightmare for James, who fumbled away his status
as of one of the most liked players in the NBA quicker than Ernie Byner dropped the ball
at the goal line, ending the Browns dream of going to the Super Bowl. King James became
reviled in Cleveland and a punching bag throughout the rest of the country.
Carmelo Anthony also pulled the diva act while he was with the Denver Nuggets. He was
the best player on a very good team and he knew it.. He wanted respect and superstar treatment
so he turned into a soap opera diva. Anthony wanted to be traded, then he didn't want to be
traded. Then he demanded to be traded to the Knicks, and told the Nuggets to make a call to
New Jersey, as well. Anthony was in his walk year, so the Nuggets wanted to get something
for Anthony knowing he was going to walk away from the Rocky Mountains and his rocky
relationship with his team. Anthony got his wish and was traded to the Big Apple and the
Knicks. His diva act got him to where he wanted to go, but like James before him, his image
took a hit.
Now, we have the ultimate diva, the superman of spoiled superstars, and a player whose
popular is falling fast towards the, "I despise you" zone. Dwight Howard seems to have been
acting like a petulant 5-year old girl who doesn't get her piece of candy for about 2 years
running. The center for the Orlando Magic clearly wants to be the center of attention in
the NBA, at least until the season starts. He wants to be traded, oh, no he doesn't want to
be traded, wait, he wants to go to New Jersey, but hey, Los Angles looks good, but he
won't sign a long-term deal and will test free-agency where he'll probably sign with
the Nets, anyway. This is so ridiculous. Howard helped his coach, Stan Van Gundy, get
fired. Ownership wanted to make Dwight The Diva happy and didn't want to have his
feeling hurt, so they fired a really, really, good basketball coach, and their GM, too.
Whatever Dwight The Diva wants, Dwight The Diva gets.
Can a owner, for once, just step up and say, "Hey, Diva, this is my team. I'm paying your
inflated contract. You play 82 games. Will you just shut up and play!" Where in the world
does one employee hold the ownership group hostage like they do in the NBA? It's absurd.
These diva docu-dramas has become like the pettiness and childishness of the high school
cafeteria. Can somebody please stop the nonsense? Can some owner make a statement and
trade one of their diva's to Detroit instead of Dallas, or Minnesota instead of Miami? Can
one of the them get quoted in the paper saying, "I'm paying the guy $20 million a year, can
the guy just shut up and make a free-throw in the clutch?"
Wishful thinking, but I don't think it'll happen. As long as a diva has a little leverage, this
ridiculous part of the NBA will keep turning and turning.