PHILADELPHIA – Humiliation hung over these Orlando Magic like an anvil, and somehow Dwight Howard still didn’t understand these are the moments everyone judges him. On the bench in the fourth quarter, the Magic getting blown out and that arena Kiss Cam had stopped on Howard and J.J. Redick. Just ignore it, superstar. Just sit sullen, sit with stature, and play the part of the forlorn franchise star.
Only, Howard’s eyes were on the video board, his mouth curling into a smile, a laugh, and finally he made an exaggerated lean to the right, separating himself and a teammate for the camera. No kisses here, people. No kidding
“It’s not the first time I called them out, and sometimes I’ve got to do things that people don’t like,” Howard said. “People hate what they don’t understand, and my teammates understand why I said what I said. They all agree. It’s not like they’re [saying], ‘Oh, Dwight’s wrong for what he said.’ ”
Perhaps he shouldn’t be so sure of that. Maybe the Magic do need to hear it, but from him? That’s the issue for these Magic, and that won’t change until the trade’s made or until free agency sweeps him out with the tide.
Isn’t it hard to be the leader when you’ve asked out of town?
“These guys understand the whole situation,” Howard responded. “But none of that stuff matters when we get on the floor.”