Dwight Howard's Inherent Flaws Prove Troublesome

dwight howard los angeles lakers

Dwight Howard has some type of inherent flaw.

I won't pretend to be an avid NBA fan. When the big games are on, I watch and enjoy. I soak in a player's greatness and watch him flourish. During the playoffs, I make a conscious effort to catch the contests at hand. I don't dislike the NBA. I love the game. I love it because I love basketball. Its beauty cannot be stated with words.

However, during the season I mostly sit and absorb what I see and hear. The players' reputations draw me in; they always seem so divisive. While I don't practice the art of arguing about who is better than whom, I laugh at the arguments made for each player. It's an individual-driven league. You don't need Phil Jackson to tell you that.

Let that speak for itself in respect to my credentials. Unlike many creative and skilled writers on this site, I can't tell you what Kyrie Irving's averages are. The ESPN trade machine is never used on this laptop.

It's the players, these behemoths of the parquet who intrigue me. Their personalities and auras keep me tuned in. What is it about Kobe Bryant that makes him play as if death is waiting for him at the final buzzer? What moments make LeBron James seize the game? How can Ricky Rubio make a behind-the-back pass look so easy?

With Howard, I don't see it. I don't get what makes him what he is. I cannot understand his mind-set or drive. There is small value behind his words because he endlessly litters the quote sheets. It seems as if Howard is the very reason a grain of salt was introduced to our vernacular.

I've seen Howard play spectacular basketball. His post play can be fluid and his dunks violent. His boyish smile seems to remind us all why we played the game. The precipice of his career - a finals appearance in 2009 - seemed like the beginning of something special.

Then, it all went wrong. Things became ugly in Orlando, and I never really understood why. It paralleled childish behavior. Like a child, Howard had some nice things and yet whined for more. His satisfaction with what was never equaled the satisfaction with what he wanted. I suppose in that way he reminds me of many other athletes.

He seemed like a bully. Yet, when faced with detention, his smile and "who me?" act would win out. Where was  his accountability to the organization, his coach and his teammates? It simply didn't exist. With a trade to Los Angeles worked out, I thought we'd see the best of Howard.

I've always subscribed to the belief that as we get older, we become ourselves. Each passing year convinces me that Howard is growing into who he really is - a troublesome final product.

His numbers have fallen a bit. The microscope of being a Lakers center doesn't help things. Every day, I read something about Howard and then, consequently, where he goes from here. The questions wouldn't exist if we knew Howard was playing like he once did. Or, if the Lakers were winning in spite of his lower numbers.

Injuries have certainly played into the issues. Again, it doesn't seem like Howard has the mentality necessary to shove that aside. He might perform admirably under the circumstances, but the injuries always come up. I guess I'd prefer he just play and tough it out silently, like the big men of yore.

He's not Patrick Ewing, and he's not Shaq. Howard is a different type of cat. He's the type of cat who seems like he's still lost in his teenage years, yet he's growing into who he truly is. Not only is it impossible for him to get out of his own way, he seems oblivious to the fact that he's there to begin with. He puzzles me, and maybe that's because I don't pay close attention. Maybe the hoop heads get it. Although, I doubt they do either.

It seems like you don't have to be highly invested to realize that Howard's flaws dominate his reputation. It's troubling to me. I don't think it's troubling to Howard. I guess that really says it all.

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