Dear Los Angeles Lakers Fans,
Arguably the best center in the game has left you. But, you probably don’t care, nor should you, after all the team you root for are the Lakers. You have been winning titles since The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed and will probably win several more until “The Big One” sinks the entire state of California into the Pacific.
I feel relieved that I can finally take the gun out of my mouth and not hear about where Dwight Howard is going to end up. I have never cared less about anything in my entire life. When the anchors at ESPN would start talking about this nonsense, I would immediately go find some wet paint and watch it become dry paint. When my friends would converse on the matter, I would leave the room very politely and just bang my head as hard as I could into solid things until I passed out. Good riddance and I’m glad it’s over. No more ESPN coverage, no more paint fumes, no more concussions.
Over the last few years Howard went about treating the decision of where he wants (or doesn’t want) to play basketball the same way a sixteen-year-old girl treats her virginity. Well, D12 found that special someone and he doesn’t just like them, but he likes them likes them, and he so desperately wants them to put a ring on it. Hopefully on his way to signing his new contract, Howard’s brain grows into his body and understands that he left basketball Shangri-La for Houston. Which is a lot like leaving the real Shangri-La for Houston.
But, one has to admit, there is a certain sadness to the entire thing.
When the 2012-13 NBA season started, we looked at that Lakers roster and we all but handed them the Larry O’Brien Trophy and anointed them basketball’s version of baseball’s Murderers Row. Last summer, we heard “that roster is stacked” more times than “Call Me Maybe” and prepared ourselves for another Lakers title run. Everything seemed good until the season started and then the rest will be forgotten in history.
It’s not often a star player decides to leave L.A. because most players decide to go there. This is somewhat of a new phenomenon for me and the basketball world. I’ve never seen a player like this leave a big market like that. We always hear that it’s hard for smaller market teams to attract big name free agents, but apparently this isn’t the case anymore. Houston proved that it can indeed happen and fans in smaller markets should hold some hope that the same could happen to their team.
Maybe Dwight Howard will win a title or two in Houston. Maybe he won’t. If he does, it won’t be the same. He had a chance to do it as a Laker, which means something a little more.
Dwight will see what he walked away from and when he goes back into the Staples Center to play again and when he’s surrounded by purple and gold jerseys, hopefully, he’ll notice that hanging in the rafters are the retired numbers of not just basketball players, but basketball royalty. It’s an elite and select club of gamers who do not need to be named, but can be recognized by monikers like The Logo, The Stilt, Cap, Diesel, The Big E, Stumpy, Big Game James, Silk, and Magic, and he’ll look across the court and see The Black Mamba staring back at him with a look that says we don’t need a Superman.
Image courtesy of ClutchFans.com