Posted September 30, 2013

Dwight Howard was ‘very upset’ about the way his free-agent decision was reported

Dwight Howard, Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers, Rob Mahoney
Dwight Howard wanted to tell Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak of his decision to joing the Rockets in person. (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Dwight Howard wanted to tell Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak of his decision in person. (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

The sporting world is so often plagued by confirmation bias, in which observers — be it fans, media members or even team officials — are guilty of categorizing events to fit their preconceptions. Such was the case with Dwight Howard’s signing with the Rockets, which for a brief moment appeared to fit the popular narrative all too well.

Howard had fully earned a reputation for waffling in his drawn-out exit from Orlando, and at a point seemed to be balking on his decision — as reported by Sam Amick of USA Today — to join the Rockets this summer. Shortly after Amick’s initial report broke, others followed claiming that the door was still open for Howard to join the Lakers, and that his decision was anything but final. That, Howard claims, wasn’t the case (via Amick’s follow-up):

“I was very upset about it when all that stuff started to come out because that’s not what was going on. I decided … the night before it came out, and my thinking was, ‘Let me get back to L.A. and sit in front of (Lakers general manager) Mitch (Kupchak) and give the Lakers that respect.’ I wanted to tell them in person.

“There was no (thought of), ‘Oh man, hold up, let me think about this again.’ The night before, when I had decided, I sat down with everybody – my agent, my best friend who was there, and my bodyguard, and we talked. I said this is where I want to go. I told my Dad that this is where I want to go. I said tomorrow, when I get home, we’re going to talk to the Lakers. I’m going to tell the other teams on the phone, and that’s what I did.”

Considering the circumstances, Howard has every right to be peeved. He may have severely misplayed his hand while trying to work a trade from Orlando in 2012, but he generally kept his mouth shut and options open during his season in Los Angeles. Then, come summer, Howard deliberated over a handful of options, retreated into solitude to properly consider them and attempted to break the news to Kupchak in person.

POINT FORWARD: Howard ranks No. 7 in SI.com’s Top 100 list

In real time — and based on conflicting reports rather than a conflicted decision — Howard was again made to be a punchline. That has to be frustrating, especially after making such a clear blunder in the past and going to great lengths to avoid repeating it. More from Amick’s report:

“I just didn’t like the way that it happened,” Howard said. “I wanted to wait as long as possible until I talked to the Lakers. I didn’t want Mitch to turn on his TV or get an e-mail from somebody saying this is what Dwight did and I didn’t contact him first. I wanted to give him the respect, and the Lakers the respect, in telling them before it got put out there.

“I felt like for them it wouldn’t have been personal enough. They were the team that decided to take me from Orlando, so I wanted to give them that respect – especially Mitch, because that was somebody who I had conversations with all summer. I wanted to let him know personally, and to thank him for the opportunity to play for the Lakers.”

Say what you will about Howard’s past transgressions, but he covers fairly well here. A little maturity suits him well.

37 comments
robert48
robert48

If I want to see DH in his prime I'll just watch the 09 finals one more time.

D. Darqwon
D. Darqwon

Is it wrong that I am so amused by how emotional and butthurt the slower Lakers fans still are?

mbnovik
mbnovik

Why should he be upset if the whole situation is of his creation?

gusCOYS
gusCOYS

With the rep he built in ORL, and with LAL's troubles last year, of course he was going to get some stick.  Whatever, he is gone now and by his own account to a situation he is happy with.  The guy should just shut TFU and do his talking on the court

Joe L1
Joe L1

This creep is a JOKE.Whats next?...it wont be baketball thats for sure. I dont think this conceited freak has ever been happy where ever he played.DH has only one concern and thats DH

iclasticons
iclasticons

Such a big baby. Get over yourself, little man.

Bobby10
Bobby10

Dwight Howard will never win an NBA title.  He is a bad decision maker, both in his professional and his personal life.  He had an opportunity to play for a storied NBA franchise with a top 5 all time player.  He would have become the best player on the premier NBA franchise within a year or two and followed in the giant footsteps of Mikan, Wilt, Kareem and Shaq.  

ShawnKemp2012
ShawnKemp2012

The only thing smaller than his brain are his ears!  lol.  

DrKmano
DrKmano

I am super upset about his lack of respect for the Bucks. He was so close to signing. There is a bias against the Milwaukee Bucks and David Stern is to blame.

riley8
riley8

The bad press this guy gets is definitely warranted.  Time to change your diaper again Howard.

logue.justinf
logue.justinf

Upset about not living up to your potential or ever winning anything?  Naww.  Feelings hurt because the way something was reported?  Absolutely.  Some guys just get it.

Old Schoolers
Old Schoolers

Seriously?  You're a clown and you're upset about what people think.  Quit being a selfish under achiever and then maybe people's thoughts will change.  Good luck Houston fans . . . not sure you got what you think you got.

M20
M20

Confirmation bias? Yeah, it's all over the comments here. Doesn't matter what he does anymore - the people below are going to view him how they want to view him. God forbid anyone makes a mistake and tries to change his ways. Dwight Howard, you are GUILTY, now and forevermore.

RobertJacke
RobertJacke

D Coward you did this to yourself, when in Orlando I want to be traded no I want to stay, No I dont want to play for the Lakers, after traded I love LA, make up your pea brain mind............

Anaximenes1
Anaximenes1

dwight want a lot more money than this chump change the lakers offered---the rockets better keep him in the money or he'll be back on the market soon

Aloha!
Aloha!

First he creates the soap opera, than he doesn't like the ending. What an overgrown little baby of a drama queen he is.

KEB
KEB

"They were the team that decided to take me from Orlando" He should have said, they are the team that I decided to go to from Orlando. I wanted to be like Shaq and failed. To much who's your babies daddy drama when it comes to Dwight. How many kids does the little christian kid have now? 4 or 5, lost count.

BNick
BNick

Howard needs to start worrying about his inability to help his team(s) win, and less about his contract(s).  If he put half that "I'm butthurt about my contract" time into practicing free throws, he might stop clanging away wins at the free throw line.

Rickapolis
Rickapolis

Jeez, he gives free-agency a bad name. He's the very worst of it. The Rockets may be very sorry, indeed.

Jerkzilla
Jerkzilla

Dude has been waffling for the last 3 years.  He is way too soft to be anything but an accessory on a championship team. 

Rob14
Rob14

a twelve year old trapped in an oversized man's body?

TryingToHearYou
TryingToHearYou

He is going to have a great year. Houston is perfect for him. 

dorado
dorado

dwight did this to himself.  it's like the boy who cried wolf acting surprised when a wolf actually shows up.  

muser
muser

He's a cancer. What were the Rockets thinking?

D. Darqwon
D. Darqwon

@Bobby10 You know Dwight addressed that fallacy quite eloquently in the article referenced above when he said, "Other teams have more history, but yesterday's scores don't win today's games,"

Old Schoolers
Old Schoolers

@M20 What has he done that's made anyone think anything differently?  

D. Darqwon
D. Darqwon

@Anaximenes1 Your statement is about par for the course of nonsense being spewed in these comments.

The Lakers offered him the MAX he could possibly get....and he turned it down and took less to be in a better situation.

But don't let that little bit of truth get in the way, carry on with mindless rambling.

Joe L1
Joe L1

@Anaximenes1 He can return to the market all he wants but his brain hasnt cought up with his body and I fear there isnt any championship material there.

Sportsfan18
Sportsfan18

@Anaximenes1   What?  He took $30 million LESS or so to play for Houston.  The Lakers offered him a MAX contract which was MORE than any other team could have offered him.

D. Darqwon
D. Darqwon

@BNick When has he ever complained about his contract???

Oh I forgot, you guys are basically making things up here. Carry on.

eddie767
eddie767

@dorado U R right,but did you notice he said "we are going to tell the Lakers?" Why does he always need backup,when talking to ppl? Like they say "you act like a child,you'll be treated like one."

casualumberjack
casualumberjack

@muser I agree. They should have saved their money and focused solely on developing their great young players.