Dwight Howard sure did open up a can of worms when he called out his former teammates in a recent interview with Kristine Leahy, saying he led a group of guys that no one else wanted on their team.
Didn’t Howard say he has learned his lesson when it comes to discussing matters of this nature with the media? It’s well known around the league that the big man simply wants to be liked by everyone.
Newsflash: no one is going to like you when you’re putting guys that went to battle with you for seven-plus seasons under the bus. Howard probably got off relatively easy for saying what he said, in terms of receiving vitriol from the media. Can you imagine if LeBron James said such a thing about his former teammates on the Cleveland Cavaliers?
Some of Howard’s former teammates, despite choosing not to comment, were naturally not happy with him, according to Alex Kennedy of Hoopsworld:
Jameer Nelson, considered one of Howard’s best friends during their tenure as teammates, shared his thoughts on the matter, from Brian K. Schmitz of Orlando Sentinel:
“At some point, when are you [Dwight] gonna as a man, when are you going to take ownership and stay out of the media in a professional manner?” Nelson told the Sentinel after Wednesday’s shooatround in Miami.
“I would be less of a man to comment on certain things that people comment on about me and my teammates. We had a great run as a group, as core guys, and he was a part of it (reaching the 2009 Finals) and for him to say things about anybody in a negative manner, that’s up to him.
“That’s his opinion. If that’s how he feels, that’s how he feels.”
Schmitz also detailed what Rashard Lewis had to say:
Nelson and Lewis have the right to be upset. They went to battle with Howard and although they could only get so far, they were a strong core that many considered to be contenders in the Eastern Conference. To hear him take credit for what the Magic did as a team by belittling everyone else? It’s unprofessional and embarrassing. Again, you would think he learned from his past mistakes.
Onto other news from around the league: