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Dwight Howard's Weird Year Ends With Season-Ending Back Surgery

Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic put together a story worthy of writing a book about this season, considering all of the twists and turns that have happened over the last six months. That story is reportedly coming to a close, however, as the All-Star center has apparently elected to have season-ending back surgery.

Howard began to make headlines when he made the list of teams he wanted to be traded to public, angering many and confusing others when he decided just before the NBA trade deadline that he wanted to stay in Orlando for another season (albeit with some interesting reasoning).

Following that long national nightmare, Howard's relationship with head coach Stan Van Gundy was thrusted into the spotlight. The most awkward moment came at a recent press conference, though reports this week indicated it may have been even uglier behind the scenes.

Fortunately -- or unfortunately, depending which side one is on -- the season-long Dwightmare has come to a close, as ESPN's Ric Bucher reported on the season-ending surgery late Thursday night.

Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard will undergo back surgery on Friday morning in Los Angeles to repair a herniated disk, effectively ending his season and eliminating him from participation in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Howard's agent said on Thursday night.

For what it's worth, that Howard will need surgery should effectively end the rumors that he was faking an injury to get out of playing for Van Gundy the rest of the season. That, Howard said in the ESPN story, is what hurt him the most.

"It hurts (emotionally)," Howard told ESPN the Magazine's Chris Broussard. "That's the first thing -- it hurts. And then with people saying and thinking I'm quitting on my team. This is a real issue. I tried to play through it and it just made my back worse."

For more on Howard and the Magic, be sure to visit Orlando Pinstriped Post.