Today the Golden State Warriors will sit down with free agent Dwight Howard and tell him how much they love him, want him and how he will be the face of their franchise as the club prepares to move into beautiful new San Francisco arena. And, I am here to tell you Warriors fans that Howard’s arrival would mark the destruction of something that looks so promising. Don’t do it Dubs !
As tempting as Howard looks, and he certainly is a physical specimen, In my humble opinion the negatives far outweigh the positives. Let’s look at the reasons why the Warriors SHOULD sign Howard.
1) He is the most dominant center in the game when his mind is right. He is physically over-powering and can single-handedly patrol the lane and defend the basket like no other player in the game. His attributes on the defensive end are unparalleled in the game today.
2) If you put Howard in the line-up with Golden State’s plethora of shooters defenses would have very difficult decisions on a nightly basis. Do you double-team Howard leaving Steph Curry and company open or do you single team him and hope. Howard could easily be a 25 point and 15 rebound guy NIGHTLY for the Warriors.
3) Signing Howard immediately turns the Warriors into Championship contenders. And for a franchise that has languished at the bottom of the NBA food chain for roughly 40 years, this would be a major coup. He would be the face of the franchise and the Warrior fans would embrace him, even with his baggage. It would turn into Dwight’s town….
Now, lets look at the reasons why this ISNT a marriage made in heaven.
1) BAGGAGE, and lots of it. The guy is an admitted sulker who pouts when things don’t go his way. Is he motivated by winning or compiling numbers? He says all he wants to do is win, yet it seems at every turn he destroys his own teams with his self-centered attitude and play. The Warriors don’t need a malcontent. They need a tough-minded superstar who wants to grind and work hard. Despite his immense talents, I am not convinced WINNING is at the top of Howard’s list of priorities.
2) The Warriors will not be able to simply sign Howard. They just don’t have enough money under the salary cap. To acquire Howard the Warriors will have to do a sign-and-trade with the Los Angeles Lakers. Do you know what that is going to cost the Warriors ? Wrap your arms around this……Klay Thompson, Harrison Barnes and the expiring contracts next year of Richard Jefferson and Andris Biedrins. If I’m the Lakers I am salivating at the thought of Howard wanting to join the Warriors. Two of the best young players in the game with limitless potential plus 25 million dollars in expiring contracts. It would be a no-brainer and even Kobe Bryant might “thank” Joe Lacob if Howard wants to bolt for the Bay. Simply stated, the Warriors depth, which was such a strength in their playoff run would be decimated.
3) This may seem trivial but check the numbers. Dwight Howard has been in the league for 9 years and he is one of the worst free-throw shooters in the history of the game. Rarely does he get to the line and become a threat, more like an albatross. Two years ago Warriors head coach Mark Jackson incorporated the (Hack-A-Howard) strategy. It worked. He made only 21-39 free throws and looks completely lost most of the time. His free throw shooting woes make me wonder, what has this guy been doing in the off-season for the past 9 years. Chris Webber came into the league a 50 percent free throw shooter. By the time Webber was flourishing with the Sacramento Kings he shot his charities at an 80 percent clip. Howard will be a liability at the ends of games. Do you keep him in to miss free throws, or do you pull him off the floor and lose your franchise guy at the most important part of the game.
4) And, in conclusion. I just don’t think the guy is a winner. I have major questions about his attitude. He didn’t like Orlando because he didn’t think they were doing enough to win. He alienated his teammates with his whining and complaining. He went to the media complaining about Stan Van Gundy, and then when Van Gundy showed up to stand right next to Howard, just seconds after he ripped him, Howard denied having any problem with his coach. He took the Magic on a two-year torturous ride that ultimately led to Howard being dealt to the Lakers.
When he arrived in Los Angeles all seemed well until he determined he wasn’t getting enough touches and inferring that Kobe Bryant was hogging the ball (hasn’t he watched NBA basketball for the last 17 years.) He gave veiled references to being the odd man out and needing to feel part of it, when in reality he should have kept his mouth shut and done what the Lakers needed him to be, which was a defensive stopper, rebounder and post-threat. Instead Howard sulked and then gave himself a public pep-talk telling everyone that would listen that he just wanted to play ball. It’s always excuses with this guy, rarely being accountable. It was Orlando’s fault, Van Gundy’s fault, Kobe’s fault, Mike D’Antoni’s fault but never Dwight’s fault.
So, despite the Warriors dining with Dwight tonight to try to persuade him to come to the Bay, I hope their efforts fail. I hope he goes to some other franchise giving them false hope. As a Warrior fan we have dealt with high hopes before and been bitterly disappointed. This time I will celebrate when the Dwightmare decides to infect some other franchise with his less-than-spirited play and finger pointing….
Say NO to the DubNation, Dwight !