Some Dwight Howard thoughts

Dwight Howard, Omer Asik
Dwightmare: 2011-2013. (AP)

On December 9, 2011, Chris Broussard tweeted that the New Jersey Nets were Dwight Howard’s number one choice for his impending free agency.

The tweet came around one in the morning, and I was so excited that I called one of my closest friends (a Celtics fan) to brag that my favorite team was about to become a championship contender. In my excitement, I rang his house, not his cell, awoke his mom, and felt like an idiot.

That’s sort of how this has gone from a Nets fan perspective. We’ve been excited and felt like idiots minutes later. We’ve been stressed, disappointed, and now, I hope a lot of us have felt relief from this past year as we watched other poor fanbases go through what we went through with this center. This center who was supposed to be worth all of the heartache and hardship to get. This center who is supposed to make basketball more fun to watch, not less.

On December 9, 2011, I was a junior in college and I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. I was a creative writing major at a small liberal arts school near Harrisburg, Pa. I had written things like short stories and literary journalism, and I was at the point where I was seriously questioning my choice of study. There aren’t any jobs in creative writing, outside of spending an additional four years trying to become a professor, and even if you manage to miraculously find one outside of that, there certainly isn’t any money in it. Unless you become Stephen King.

I joined the staff at Nets are Scorching on Christmas Eve 2011. After a few weeks of writing there, I realized I wanted to be a sportswriter.

So, my entire sportswriting career, whether it be for The TrueHoop Network, my college paper, or other places I’ve freelanced around the web/print, the Dwight Howard saga has always been ongoing. I’ve always had that in the back of my mind. I’ve always been able to talk about Dwight and connect with strangers. It was the first story, and the longest story, where people actually cared what my thoughts were on it.

And as we watched Dwight go through what he went through, I got started in a business and learned what I needed to do to be successful in it.

Believe it or not, I owe a lot to Dwight Howard.

We’ve all followed this story. We’ve all been engrossed in it and we’ve all talked about endlessly, to people who care and to a lot of people who probably don’t. Just ask my girlfriend what she thinks about D12. She hates him, even more than she hates Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James.

We all have some kind of story about this story, where we were when things broke, how we found out about them. I used to leave my phone in my dorm as a “good luck charm,” because whenever I would take a break from the news, something would inevitably happen. My friends would pull pranks on me and I spent nights barely sleeping because I couldn’t get off Twitter, waiting for a Woj tweet at 1:06 a.m. that would make it all worth it.

Because the reason why we cared about this story in the first place was because we were getting a superstar player who was may have taken our favorite team to a title. Or something like that.

Yet, if you told me back in December 2011 that this would end with the Nets getting Joe Johnson, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and an All-Star in Brook Lopez, and Deron Williams’ ex-best buddy going to Houston, I would have cackled.

I’m not sure if we’ll ever get another story like this again. I’m not sure if I want to, or if I’ll ever be able to be this invested like I was with Dwight. And that’s probably a good thing.

Rest in peace, Dwightmare. I loved talking about you, discussing you and losing sleep over you, no matter how many times I may say I didn’t. I will certainly never forget you.

But I’m glad you’re finally someone else’s problem.