Dwight Howard is having back surgery today for a herniated disk that's been causing him a lot of pain. He's going to be out for around four months, meaning he most likely won't be playing for Team USA in the Olympics, either. That's good, you never know if he'd be asked to be traded to Canada, only to change his mind as long as they fire coach Mike Krzyzewski. I'm kidding, of course.
Dwight has said the report that he called Magic owner Rich DeVos last Friday night to say he would never play for coach Stan Van Gundy wasn't true. Call or not, it's probably accurate. One or both will be gone, and after the Magic lose in the first round of the playoffs, Van Gundy will be the first to go, whether he says he's sick of this mess or the Magic just fire him.
This whole Dwight drama has really hurt his brand (as the athletes like to call themselves these day). Before this season, Dwight was the hulking, smiling, fun-loving super star. Now he's looked at as self-entitled and someone who thinks he's bigger than the franchise. And truthfully, just because you went to the Finals once and lost, that doesn't mean you get to start running the franchise.
Dwight's people are saying that Magic approached him to see if he wanted to keep Van Gundy around, which probably has some truth to it. Teams often try to placate stars.
It's too bad. We really haven't seen the public perception turn on someone since LeBron James way back when he left Cleveland almost two years ago.
It's been an ugly season for the Magic because of all this, but without Howard for the playoffs at least it will end soon. The Magic are markedly worse without him, and they might have a won a round or two in the playoffs with him. With him out, they're toast. At least we'll always have this painfully awkward interview.
Article by Eric Gray