The newest Laker revitalizes my inner hate as a sports fan

“Why can’t there be some things just for me?  Is that so selfish?”

“Actually, that’s the definition of selfish.”

    – Jason Alexander and Jerry Seinfeld, in “The Secret Code”



I haven’t hated anyone in a long time.

As a kid, I used to hate Reggie Jackson.  Just hate him with fervor.  Oh, and Bucky Dent too for what they did to my beloved Red Sox back in the day.

But as a grown man, I’ve put things in their proper perspective, or at least I like to think I have.  Don’t get me wrong, sports are still important to me.  I share the glory when my teams win and the heartache when they lose, but I don’t go around randomly hating people.  Okay, maybe Urban Meyer but that’s it.

But now, it’s official.  I hate Dwight Howard.

I don’t know him personally, never met him.  He might be the nicest kid around (probably not) willing to give you the shirt off his back but I really, REALLY am developing a healthy hatred for the guy… and I haven’t even seen him in a Lakers uniform yet.

The last two years for Magic fans were excruciating, so much so that I don’t care to relive the experience.  Even as his days in Orlando came to a close, Dwight fed the fire with every utterance.  At least when LeBron bid Cleveland adieu, we sensed a hint of remorse.  Nor did he drag it out for years, in contrast to the Dwight-drama Central Florida was subjected to daily.  As the story unfolded, Snake, a friend, regular reader and lifelong NBA fan, would text me, telling me how he didn’t think there could possibly be a bigger douchebag in the game than LeBron.  He was wrong.

Look, I don’t resent athletes for being multi-millionaires, nor do I slight anyone for following their dreams.  I certainly don’t hate anyone for their ability to dunk a basketball or for being an entire foot taller than me, although, in all honesty, I probably have better post moves than Dwight.

So here’s the latest.  You think Dwight would want to lay low, rehab his back after season-ending surgery and turn down any interviews that might (continue to) paint him in a negative light.  Or maybe he just can’t help himself.  In a recent interview, Howard tried to explain himself, telling ESPN’s Ric Bucher that it was never his intention for anyone not to like him, that he gave Orlando his all in trying to win a championship, that Los Angeles was his team of destiny (he hasn’t signed a long-term deal yet) and how he needed not worry about what others thought and start thinking about himself.  Like Seinfeld said, the very definition of selfish.

Either way, his bags are packed, his $20 million, Hollywood mansion already purchased while the echoes inside his old, Orlando home will soon match those heard throughout the Amway Center.  And so, we begin anew, with Dwight in Los Angeles, and guys named Kyle O’Quinn, Ish Smith and Moe Harkless wearing Magic uniforms, which hardly seems like a fair trade, aside from the fact that those guys actually want to be there.

I’ve never actively rooted against the Lakers, but I am left no choice.  While watching Steve Nash win his first ever NBA title would be cool, watching Dwight fall short of his first, would make me feel all giddy inside.

Don’t worry.  I’m not going to do anything rash like burn a Dwight Howard jersey outside the stadium or make myself a D12 voodoo doll to pin angrily.  But I might just buy a ticket to the March 12 Lakers game in Orlando and boo the man healthily every time he touches the ball.  After all, he does deserve that.

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40 Replies to “The newest Laker revitalizes my inner hate as a sports fan”

  1. Pingback: The newest Laker revitalizes my inner hate as a sports fan - BallHyped Blog Network, NBA | BallHyped Sports Blogs

  2. Chris

    Both you and I know, that so much of this D-How mess could’ve been avoided had the Magic front office jettison the center at the trade deadline , instead of this continued idiocy of retaining the player with a view to making him a centerpiece for their long-term future .

    What did they get for him in return ? A bag of bolts and some nuts ?

    Now Dwight is saying Los Angeles is where he longs to be , his future is bright , and that he hopes to bring further success to the Lakers’ franchise . Way to go Dwight ! Fu#k over the fans who came out to support you when your career was in full swing with the Orlando Magic .

    As to the Magic organization , they’re being ran by a bunch of knuckleheads !

    We’ll now see marked decline in the value of the Magic franchise and a major decline in attendance . Need I say anymore on the matter ?

  3. Compared to that scumbag Dwight Howard, Lebron James comes off as a nice guy. Hmmm… Rooting against the Lakers; what a novel idea. I think I’ll try that. Oh wait, I’ve been doing that for more than 50 years. BLEED GREEN CELTICS!

  4. My hope for you Rev. is that time heals all wounds and my wish as far as Dwight is concerned is that time wounds all heals. Cheers!

  5. Al…

    In my opinion, the Magic have to go completely back to the drawing board.

    What is it that got them to the Finals a few years ago? How did they build that team? How did they compile the pieces?

    Unfortunately, both times they’ve been to the Finals, the centerpiece of those teams were number one draft picks and key ones at that.

    I don’t see any number one draft picks like Dwight or Shaq coming around any time soon.

    It is going to be a fucked couple of years for Magic fans.

    Hey, at least we’ll get to sit anywhere in the arena like we always used to.

  6. Snake…

    I know you’re just flattered to be mentioned in the piece.

    And hey, check your e-mail account. I think it’s been hacked. I’ve been getting random penis enlargement e-mails that had absolutely nothing to do with the NBA.

    Although it would be funny if David Stern did one of those endorsements.

    “Hi, I’m David Stern and I’m here to talk to you about erectile dysfunction.”

  7. Persona non grata in the state, Aer.

    To put it politely, fuck him.

    Actually I guess I could have just said that and saved everyone the time in reading the piece, huh, man?

    Although it was quite soothing. Again, that’s until I see him play his first game in a Laker uniform.

    Nam Myoho Renge Kyoooooo

  8. You’re right. My email account was hacked. I’ve tried everything from changing my password to scrubbing my hard drive but they were still going out. So I’ve deleted everything from my address book temporarily. Its a little bit of a hassle since now everything goes to my suspect mail but we’ll see. As for the penis enlargement emails, that was probably intended to go to you. Remember, if your erection lasts more than 5 hours, TELL EVERYBODY!!!

  9. I can see how it relates to you. I don’t see how “Nam Myoho Renge Kyo” relates to Dwight Howard. I think something more appropriate would be “What goes around, comes around” or maybe “Schadenfreude.” According to ESPN, the Lakers may not be able to afford Dwight, Pau and Kobe when the super luxury tax kicks in just down the road. They’re looking at about $100 million in taxes. Maybe Dwight Howard is destined to never win an NBA championship. How fitting.

  10. Snake…

    I guess they’ll ask Kobe to eventually take a pay cut in his waning years. I’ll be interested in hearing his response to that.

    Another intriguing question I may ask about the upcoming season is who will lead that team in field goal attempts: Nash, Gasol, Kobe or Dwight?

    The theme to Jeopardy plays softly in the background.

    The Buddhist chant was definitely for me as I sit and wait for years as the Magic try to build AGAIN while the Lakers challenge the Heat for interplanetary dominance.

    And how about that, man. Three basketball posts smack dab in the midst of football season. I know someone’s happy.

  11. I may have to purchase the Package this year, Snake, since my Magic will be unwatchable.

    How much is it, man? $200 for the season? Would make for a nice, early Channukah present for myself, no?

  12. With DirecTV, its $179.94 for TV & broadband. That’s 6 payments of $29.99/mo. Or you can get just broadband from for $119.99/single payment or 5 payments of $26.99/mo ($134.95), but for that, you can choose up to 5 teams to watch.

  13. NBA League Pass is the greatest value in sports. Back in the day, before League Pass existed, I used to go to the sports bar to watch every Celtics game that wasn’t on cable. About 60 games per season cost me more than $900 between burgers, beer and waitress tips just to watch the game without sound in a smoky bar with rap crap pumping out of the juke box.

  14. The only problem is, Snake, there’s probably only about ten teams in the league that are worth watching these days.

    Personally, I like hearing the home town announcers. Those guys are the best.

    I wouldn’t mind the year off from Doug Collins.

  15. When I watch the Celtics on League Pass, I get the home team announcers for all of the home games and about 70% of the away games. I don’t know how its done on cable systems, but on DirecTV, you usually get 2 game channels per game. Of course, when its on ESPN, TNT or ABC you get screwed, e.g. Jeff Van Gundy.

  16. Every once in a while we luck out and get Hubie on a day game.

    And there’s nothing better than driving to and fro and listening to Dr. Jack.

    Those two basketball minds are insane.

  17. The way Howard left Orlando, you certainly have the right to dislike Howard, but hate Chris? Whoa! However, Howard should shut up when he starts to play in LA, which we know won’t happen. He might actually take the place of Metta World Peace as the most hated.

  18. I beg to differ. I think you’re just a hater. You hate the fact that Kid Sheraton hasn’t let you bum a set off him in 30 years. As for Howard, let him go to Hollywood, can’t blame the guy for getting tired of going to Disney World all the time for Christ sake.

  19. Hello triple SC,
    Sorry, I don’t have anything to share about basketball, but wanted to let you know my Sportschump shirt is going to Fenway Park with me, safely packed among my Red Sox T-shirts. I plan on wearing it to my 3rd game, which is Tues vs Rays. Our seats are beside Rays Dugout, third row. I also have great lower section seats for Sat and Sun games vs Orioles. That’s a triple Woo Hoo!
    Dee Dee

  20. Chris

    The brutal truth is that the front office of the Magic is completely devoid of intelligence ! Now the city of Orlando as owners of the venue has a damn white elephant sitting on their hands . Because that arena will be rarely filled for Magic home games unless they’re playing one of the marquee teams within the NBA . Mind you if there’s major rock group , star , country artist or even Jigga , or the Bieb’s then that placed is liable to be packed out .

    All of a sudden the Rays can pound out 15 hits in their 13-3 victory over the hideous Red Sox . Where was this type of offense in their last 12 games ?

    I see we petition organizers of the Adult Video Entertainment Awards and annual trade show to relocate from Vegas to Orlando ! That’d put several bees in the nest of the prudish a##holes on the Orlando City Council , while bringing in several million dollars during that two week extravaganza . LOL,LOL,LOL !!!

    Left you a response on the baseball piece .

    Pitchers and out-fielders , please report for the final moments of the regular season

    Tophatal …………….

  21. Okay BS and KS….

    Perhaps I was just going for effect. Maybe I was just trying to get a little something off my chest and feel better about it, which I did. Cathartic.

    Yet it’s easy for Kid Sheraton to talk trash from his perch as a Heat fan. They’ll be decent for years to come. Need I remind him his Dolphins and Canes suck hind tit.

  22. Al…

    It still amazes me Orlando even got that arena built. That’s why, building new venues for sports teams is such a Catch-22.

    Here they think they’ve got a kid who’s going to be lead the franchise for the rest of his career. They had a successful team that made the Finals and all was good.

    But nothing is a given, Al.

    Within three years, crickets. Dwight’s gone and so are any chances of being competitive this year. But hey, at least they have themselves a nice new place to play, thanks to the taxpayers, of course.

    And who knows what to make of the Rays, Al. I was ready to post a piece writing them off. Too premature or should I put it up and hope for the reverse jinx?

  23. Amway ? They can have their annual convention there perhaps ?

    Look if a school district can have a $56 million stadium built for a high school football team in Texas , albeit that the monies primarily came from private donations . That literally tells you how fu##ed up the priorities are for that particular district . Education was never their top priority at all .

    Tophatal ……..

  24. You allow the media to cherry-pick the facts you are fed to the extent that you hate a guy who moves to what he considers, for whatever reason, a better job?

    It’s sport and you need to get some perspective.

  25. Andrew…

    Thanks for chiming in.

    I don’t have a problem with it either. These guys have a limited window within which to make their money, as well as their mark on the league.

    But, as we both agree upon, Dwight could probably have handled things better.

    Look, the Magic organization is not free of guilt either.

    The entire situation was mismanaged. But Dwight got what he wanted and the Magic are basically left with their you know what in their hand.

    And for that, I blame them.

  26. Al…

    I’m pretty sure Texas money is different from Florida money but I don’t know the particulars.

    And I’m not sure what the Gators are laying this weekend at home against Kentucky. I imagine it’s about four touchdowns.

    It’s probably a game I wouldn’t wager on.

  27. Jim…

    Thanks for swinging by the Chumposphere.

    Let me first ask you a few questions.

    A) Have you read any of my posts of the past few years?

    B) Were you at all paying attention to what went down with Dwight Howard and Orlando over that same period?


    C) Are you a Lakers fan?

  28. This is the fault? of the NBA and why you don’t allow kids to run your business. Howard can’t help that he is an idoit. It’s all about Me and Money. The word Mammonism comes to mind. You can’t tell these kids ayhnting because of the money professional sports allows them to command and being kids they have no clue. Howard should be hammered mentally the rest of the way off the court.Greedy loud mouth lying punks is all most of these guys turn out to be. Very few class acts left in sports

  29. Lu…

    I don’t know what Mammonism and I’m not sure what kind of sites it would take me to if I decided to look it up.

    I actually got a lot of flack for writing this “hate” piece considering my loving nature. Like I said, most of it was tongue in cheek but I can’t help but feel I’ll be, at a minimum, actively rooting for Dwight to fail, which is also something I never do.

    And I don’t know that we can necessarily blame the league for the behavior of its players. At some point, these guys are going to have to realize they’re grown men and start acting that way.

  30. I can’t blame Dh12 too much. The Nets deal falling through was not his fault, and that was a good deal.

    Can’t call him selfish either. After Orlando lost to the Lakers, that team fell off. Was there an active effort to get good pieces around him? I don’t know, but it sure doesn’t seem like it. He was tradable for a while and Orlando held onto him. It’s a little unfair to expect him to stop giving interviews during that time. Afterall, it’s his career, his future hanging in the balance. How can he be selfish for talking about his job? His goals and his preferred team?

  31. Those are all fair arguments, Ame, and trust me, this is written from the point of view of a bitter Magic fan that’s frustrated with the direction of the franchise and has already seen one big guy go West.

    That being said, Dwight probably could have been a little more professional in his responses, but as we’ve seen lately from veterans like Kevin Garnett ( and Kobe Bryant (, even the “mature” guys in the league don’t always say the smartest things.

    Dwight will do well out in L.A., how could he not? But his game still needs plenty of work to become one of the great ones. We’ll see if he has it within him to become that.

  32. Chris

    In business when planing long term , you also have to have a contingency plan , should things go off the rails . What was said to be the Magic’s contingency plan ?

    Tophtatal ……

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