I read articles before, particularly during Orlando’s days when they were struggling, about how they (sports journalists) would just wish Dwight Howard would stop smiling.
To them it read as if his constant smiling and paling around with his teammates was a sign of weakness, especially considering the time they weren’t going to go further into the playoffs as they should again.
I think he’s smiling because – well, he’s just a happy guy. And why shouldn’t he be? He’s got one of the best jobs in the world doing stuff he loves. He has none of that awful, tiresome angst we see far too often with other players, who use that as an excuse to act like a hoodlum on and off the court. Dwight to me, really is a genuine big kid.
And now he’s a Laker with an All-Star cast that’s almost a guaranteed shoe – in for the Western Conference. Why the heck shouldn’t he be smiling?
Kobe And The Futility of Being A Fan
Another thing I wanna bring up is Kobe’s official reaction:
His message per se is generic and expected, and I’m just as glad Bynum is gone because if everyone thought Howard coming back to Orlando would be awkward I think it’s 2x that with Bynum, whom the Lakers have been trying to ship for what, 3 years now?
But what I most notice is Kobe’s referencing the Lakers in the 3rd person, which he’s been doing for years. Phil Jackson also does this, as well as Shaq, even during the time they were coach and player.
I think that speaks volumes as to how professionals keep professional by maintaining their distance from their teams whom they see simply as their employers, ready to suddenly change at a moments notice. The funny thing is fans like to refer to themselves as ‘fans for life’ of teams like Boston and LA and players like Kobe and KD, etc., whilst the very players whom they idolize can’t even refer to themselves and their teams as ‘we’.
And why would they? Not only are they subject to instant replacement, the Coaches and management of the companies that run their teams are on a virtual merry go round of hiring and firing as well. What then is the logic of calling yourself a ‘Laker Fan For Life’, if the Lakers team and management keep changing, some of the players don’t wanna be there, and even Kobe refers to it in a detached manner as if it wasn’t a part of him even after playing there all his life?
My very first thought however upon learning of Dwight becoming a Laker, is just how awful it must be to be working for an organization like Orlando. I was actually curious if they had ever won anything and a quick check on their Wikipedia page revealed the worst.
- Marquee Players at any given time, in their prime =Penny Hardaway, Grant Hill, Tracy McGrady, Shaquille O’Neal, Dwight Howard, etc etc.
- Championships = 0
That’s just heartbreak city right there, time and time again. I’m hard put to think of any other team that aches as much, even Cleveland crying over James’ leaving pales in comparison to those players being unable to get a ring whilst there, then leaving for other teams and doing well over there.