It's late on a Friday night and we've already had, now, multiple false starts on the Dwight Howard news. He's going to Houston. Wait, he's flying to L.A. Now maybe he's staying with the Lakers. Nobody knows.
The easy route here is to laugh at Dwight, call him indecisive and immature, and keep doing what we've all (myself included) been very good at: Blaming Dwight. Except that's too easy, and isn't right. In this case -- and it may actually hold true for a lot of things relating to Dwight -- blaming the man himself isn't the answer.
The problem is those around Dwight. That's his agents, his entourage, his friends, whoever went to Colorado with him ... everyone. Every. Single. One. They're all to blame for this mess.
Does Dwight have a hand in this? Maybe. Maybe he could be more firm and hold a closer grip on those around him. But take a look at what happened -- really look at it -- and you'll see a pattern unfold.
Dwight actually was doing the honorable thing, in a way, by calling teams to let them know they were out. He told the Hawks and Warriors and Mavericks and almost everyone else in this "no thanks." As he was doing this, news broke that Houston was the choice.
Except it kinda didn't, because his agent denied it, thus beginning the real circus. While there was a denial, there was also confirmation from the same reporter. And it seemed solid.
Now we're here: Dwight flew back to L.A. He may be having trouble saying no to all the money the Lakers could give him over the life of a contract. He was apparently planning on meeting with the Lakers, except they didn't know that. Hell, he may be at 50/50 between the Lakers and Rockets.
Notice a common thread here. None of this -- far as I can tell parsing it -- came from Dwight. The people around him appear to be leaking like a sieve, passing information to reporters as the man actually making the decision, still hadn't, you know, decided ... or at least decided to go public. So we get a flow of information that paints Dwight as flip-flopping.
And maybe Dwight is a flip-flopper. Maybe he can't make a decision to save his life, and we can all continue joking about it forever. Or maybe, just maybe, those around him have always been the problem.
After all, they're responsible for chaperoning him through the business and controlling his image -- the face he presents to the public. But right now? Those following this are all looking at Dwight like he's a fool. Those around him have failed him ... again.
Consider the circumstances surrounding the man when judging him. Stepping back to look at the big picture makes things look a whole lot different right now.
Postscript: As I was writing this, the Lakers met with Dwight and were informed of his decision to join the Rockets. It was Dwight's intention, apparently, to meet with the Lakers before saying anything publicly -- which seems honorable. So, again, ask yourself who made Dwight look like a fool.
Edit: Or maybe he didn't meet with the Lakers. Hey, who knows!