Orlando’s Howard still wants out; 1992 vs. 2012 debate
Daniel Cernero, Sentinel Sports EditorMy sports allegiances vary geographically from sport to sport. Being born near Orlando, in the suburb of Apopka, my NBA team has always been the Orlando Magic. I spent my early years as a sports fan rooting for the likes of Anfernee Hardaway, Nick Anderson, Darrell Armstrong and Horace Grant – didn’t everyone like those goggles?
Thursday, July 19, 2012
You’ll notice that a key figure omitted from that list is big man Shaquille O’Neal. With the taste of bitterness still fresh as a result of O’Neal’s decision to head west and spend the prime years of his career in Hollywood, it’s beyond obvious that yet another Magic big man is
following in his path.
That’s right, I’m looking at you, Dwight Howard.
Not too long ago, I was enthusiastically cheering on Howard and the Magic as they made their run through the Eastern Conference to the NBA Finals in 2009. It’s amazing how much damage Howard’s done from a public relations standpoint in such a small period of time.
One thing I’ve realized as Howard’s name daily, or maybe even hourly, gets brought up in trade discussions is that I don’t hate him for wanting to leave Orlando as much as I hate the fact that in virtually no scenario will the Magic receive an “equal value” in return.
Howard is the undisputed best center in the NBA today, and any deal where Brook Lopez is the key piece in the exchange just won’t cut it. I’m sorry, New Jersey, I mean Brooklyn. It just won’t, no matter how many first round picks you throw in.
Late last week, trade negotiations with the Brooklyn Nets came to an end, although the last I’ve heard, that’s still Howard’s targeted team, whether it be through a trade or free agency next summer.
Now, again, there are rumblings that the Los Angeles Lakers would be interested in exchanging big man Andrew Bynum for Howard to come play alongside Kobe Bryant and the newly acquired Steve Nash. (Side note: the photo of Nash in a Lakers jersey still creeps me out. It’s so unnatural.) That deal I can at least stomach, however, I’ve given up on believing any trade rumor and will until I see an official team statement. And even then, I might still have my doubts at this point.
Dream Team vs. ’12
Keeping with the sport of basketball, as the U.S. Men’s Basketball Team travels to London for the 2012 Olympic Games, debate arose over which team would win in a head-to-head matchup – the “Dream Team” of 1992 or this current roster of Olympians.
To me, as the rosters look now, it’s clear the Dream Team would win, and win quite handedly I might add. The size advantage of having David Robinson and Patrick Ewing would be too much for the 2012 team to handle, plain and simple.
However, I think the much more interesting debate would be to include on this year’s team the current crop of injured players – Dwight Howard, Dwyane Wade, Derrick Rose and Chris Bosh. Do that and you have a legitimate toss-up, in my eyes.
I think the 2012 team’s sheer athleticism could be something unmatched by the Dream Team.
The Freeh report was released to the public last week, in which former FBI Director Louis Freeh detailed the accounts of Jerry Sandusky’s heinous acts and the actions taken, or not taken, by members of Penn State’s administration to put an end to Sandusky’s reign of terror.
As the story broke in November of last year, many leaped to the conclusion that Penn State head coach Joe Paterno, the university icon, could have done more to prevent such acts from happening. The reasonable response was to hold off judgement until hearing all of the evidence.
Well, now after the Freeh report, it’s clear those initial accusations weren’t much of a leap.
“The most saddening finding by the Special Investigative Counsel is the total and consistent disregard by the most senior leaders at Penn State for the safety and welfare of Sandusky’s child victims,” reads the report.
In the report, Graham Spanier, the former president of the university; Gary Schultz, the former senior vice president for finance and business; and Tim Curley, the school’s former athletic director – in addition to Paterno – were identified as having “exhibited a striking lack of empathy for Sandusky’s victims by failing to inquire as to their safety and well-being, especially by not attempting to determine the identity of the child who Sandusky assaulted … in 2001.”
In the aftermath of what some consider the biggest NCAA scandal ever, many scenarios remain unresolved. Will the NCAA target the Penn State football program with sanctions, even though what took place happened off of the field of play? What will become of the Joe Paterno statue standing in front of Beaver Stadium, Penn State’s football stadium? Perjury charges have already been issued against two of the aforementioned officials – Curley and Schultz – but will Spanier face criminal charges, as well?
As some have suggested, with all that is yet to unfold, NCAA sanctions resulting in a canceled football season could actually be a blessing to the program, if only as an escape from all of the distractions sure to be present in the fall.