It is amazing what levels of cognitive dissonance exist when it comes to dealing with NBA stars. Dwight Howard flipped everyone out on Tuesday by telling the world that he's told the Orlando Magic that he prefers to finish out the season there, with his free agency plan in July kept a complete secret. Basically, he told the Magic he wants to play out his contract, potentially leaving Orlando with nothing in return. That's not a tenable outcome for the Magic. They should probably redouble efforts to trade him.
Naturally, these comments incensed Magic executives. Naturally, these Magic executives think that people care how they feel. We don't.
After Howard and Magic executives had promised each other to keep their conversations private, some team executives were privately disgusted with his public comments Tuesday night.
The funniest part is that if Howard set any number of ground rules for his return -- toe-licking, Stan Van Gundy meeting the coaching guillotine, trading for Rashard Lewis to reassemble the 2009 Finals team -- those "disgusted" Magic executives would trip over themselves to get it done. The only use for "private disgust" is... talking to a sympathetic media who often lacks the perspective to properly expose the emotions of the player, who happens to be the only piece of this anyone cares about. The only use for "private disgust" is to show what big, strong men you are behind the cloak of anonymity, all while your spine turns to a stack of soda crackers when it's time to face the dragon that is reality.
No, no one cares that Magic executives are privately disgusted, because in the grand scheme they do not matter at all. The fortunes of the Orlando Magic for the foreseeable future are based on the emotional state and decision-making of Dwight Howard. That's it. Everyone else can go cry in a pillow until it's all over. That will be equally as useful as telling a reporter that you're disgusted.
Dan Rubenstein and SLAM's Lang Whitaker discuss Howard's future: