The legend of Dwight Howard as insufferable child seems to pick up steam with every passing day. As the Lakers front office continues to mull (or not mull) the decision of whether or not to trade the All-Star center, he himself has made it pretty clear no team should take a chance on him.
Take, for instance, this second-hand account from one Stephen A. Smith, who was on Mike and Mike Wednesday morning and told this story he heard through the grapevine about Howard incurring the wrath of Gregg Popovich during the All-Star Game:
“I haven’t seen anybody report it so I guess I’ll be the first. Let me tell you something right now. Coach Gregg Popovich dropped a few F-bombs in Dwight Howard’s direction during the All-Star Break. Now why is that, guys? During a timeout, Gregg Popovich drew up a play, according to my sources, for Dwight Howard, in the game.
“Except, when it was time to run the play, Dwight Howard wasn’t in the game, wasn’t paying attention, was on the bench, in his warm-ups, chilling out, and socializing with folks. And Gregg Popovich almost went ballistic and basically, was cussing at him, according to numerous people that I spoke to since this weekend!
“All of that speaks to the level of focus, or lack thereof, that the Kobe Bryants and others have alluded to with their comments over the last few months.”
This anecdote, if we assume it to be true, tells us a few things. First, it’s that you don’t cross Gregg Popovich. It’s no coincidence that this man has coached his way to four NBA titles, leading the most quiet dynasty the NBA has ever seen. He’s a no nonsense kind of guy, and you don’t need me to tell you Howard’s demeanor doesn’t exactly shout Tim Duncan.
Second: players don’t really care about the All-Star Game. Pop surely knows this by now, and it seemed like the man was doing Howard a courtesy by drawing up a play in his honor, trying to spark his interest any way he could. Was lashing out at Howard for not listening necessarily the right course of action? I mean, shouldn’t we give him the benefit of the doubt? It is the All-Star Game, after all.
But third, and most importantly: Dwight Howard is a child. So yes, Pop was justified. As long as you’re in the All-Star Game, you can at least act like you want to be there and give Pop the courtesy of your attention. If you can’t do that, then sure, you deserved to get a few F-bombs thrown your way. And when you’re Dwight Howard and the man hurling the epithets is a modern coaching legend, then that’s just icing.
[via, Getty Images]