Manhood is a tough thing. It comes with it a lot of responsibilities and a standard of being independent, which regardless of the various times of the world, isn’t easy. Being 26 years and being a multimillionaire comes with it tons of weight – the weight to be responsible, to do well, to placate and appease, to be strong…but those are qualities most befitting for a man. Maybe Howard hasn’t really reached the peak of manhood yet. Perhaps, he is still a child.
I’m sure Howard knows the following verse from 1 Corinthians 13:11 of the Holy Bible: “When I was a child, I thought like a child, and acted like a child; but when I became a man, I put away those childish things.” Children gossip, children often tattle and tell tales, children often are indecisive, and children are susceptible to becoming petulant.
One of the most important aspects of being a man is owning up to what you do and standing up for what you believe. That’s called maturity. Take away the worldly aspect of manhood and narrow it down to the scope of being a man in the NBA. Outside of the mundane routine of playing, practicing, and preparing for the nights’ entertainment, it’s all about being accountable. If you can’t be accountable for your actions in the league, your chances for being an all-around success plummet. Your word should be your bond, but hey, when you change your mind about that (and we all have the right to do so, no matter our depth of our commitments and obligations), that’s what the agents are for. The agents and publicists can handle all of your handiwork, your PR, your brand management, but a high level of consistency in word and in action are concentrated in view of your integrity in the public, and a perceived lack of it does way more harm that being honest. Honesty divides your lovers from your antagonists; people-pleasing sometimes creates haters from your own supporters.
—Sandy Dover, “Dwight Howard: Krypton’s Impostor”
Image courtesy of The Starting Five
Almost a month ago, I composed a piece on Dwight Howard for The Starting Five that delved into the dynamics of how his desire to leave the Orlando Magic affects his legacy and changes the way that he originally intended to be viewed in the NBA — an intentional facade that held ground within the first two or three seasons of Howard’s career, as a God-fearing, bright-smiling ‘boy next door’ and easy-going human caricature of Mickey Mouse…
Until he got tired of being criticized as ‘one-dimensional’.
Until he got sick of being derided as a Shaq wannabe.
Until he tired of Stan Van Gundy, the very coach who facilitated his ability to become the defensive force he has now become.
Until he looked around and decided that he deserved to have an offense ran through him, even though his first six years in the league were spent without more than one post move (and zero counter-moves).
Until he and his agent decided that he needed to be the next LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, and Chris Paul, manifesting their destinies (while the latter two proceeded to do so while still under contract).
The piece, “Dwight Howard: Krypton’s Impostor“, is my observation of Howard’s behavior and his public trifles which have led to his infamous ongoing saga known throughout the media as “The Dwightmare”. If you care at all about anything involving Howard, the Brooklyn Nets’ mirage superstar center, maybe give it a good look — I hope it will be worth your time spent reading.
(Much sincere thanks to Michael Tillery, founder of The Starting Five — and Philadelphia 76ers beat writer — who exclusively featured the piece.)