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Lakers Nation Presents: A Fan’s Open Letter to Dwight Howard Reviewed by Momizat on . Dear Dwight Howard, By the time you read this, you would’ve had your meeting with the Houston Rockets already. And presumptively, they promised you the world. A Dear Dwight Howard, By the time you read this, you would’ve had your meeting with the Houston Rockets already. And presumptively, they promised you the world. A Rating:
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Lakers Nation Presents: A Fan’s Open Letter to Dwight Howard

Kobe Bryant and Dwight HowardDear Dwight Howard,

By the time you read this, you would’ve had your meeting with the Houston Rockets already. And presumptively, they promised you the world. A chance to be the man again in a city where there’s no income tax. An opportunity to be surrounded by younger, more athletic players than you were in Los Angeles. Most importantly, they likely sold you on the prospect of a fresh start.

The meetings you will have with Atlanta, Dallas and Golden State will be more of the same. They will try to capitalize on the power of now, the lingering emotions of guilt and failure that you’ve been dealing with since your first season with the Los Angeles Lakers ended in a first round sweep.

But please Dwight, don’t let the results of one year, dictate where you’ll sign for the next five. We all make decisions in life as human beings. I made a decision tonight to write you a letter because you’re the most important player on my favorite basketball team. Tomorrow, businessmen all around the globe will make the decision on whom and what they would like to invest their millions of dollars in. Somewhere in the world, a guy is contemplating if he should propose to his girlfriend of four years. And you will decide where you want to play basketball come this October in the upcoming week.

At the core of every decision, no matter how big or small, lies the question: what do you want to do with your life.

Italian philosopher, Niccolò Machiavelli, once wrote the following: “this gives rise to an argument whether it is better to be loved than feared, or the opposite. The answer is that one would like to be both but since it is difficult to combine the two, one of the two has to make way for the other.”

You’ve predicated your nine year NBA career on being loved. You smile more often on the court than some people breathe. You supposedly waived the early termination option of your contract with Orlando just before the 2012 trade deadline because you were influenced by what Magic fans were tweeting you. For someone who lives to be loved, Lakers Nation didn’t appeal to you on your maiden voyage, I get that.

But at some point you have to make a transition into someone who is feared more so than he is loved if a championship is what you’re truly after. The big man who led the franchise to three consecutive championships a decade ago also began his career as a goof ball who moved to Los Angeles to pursue his rap and movie career, the difference between you and him is that once he stepped between the lines he became a monster, while you remain the same person on and off the court.

I know you love Disney movies, so let me try to relate to you through one of those.

Have you watched Monsters University, Dwight?

You’re a lot like James P. “Sulley” Sullivan. In the movie, Sulley shows up to Scare school and expects everything to be handed to him because he comes from a long lineage of “scarers”. He has a copious amount of natural talent but as the movie progresses his sidekick, the much less intimidating Mike Wazowski,  slowly overtakes Sully by plying his craft night in and night out and learning various scare techniques. Reminds you a little bit of you and Kobe doesn’t it?

Near the end of the film, Mike finds Sulley sulking by a lake and the two talk it out to discover that they are not that different after all; in fact, the two of them need one another to succeed as one’s strengths masked the other’s weaknesses.

I don’t want to spoil the ending for you in case you haven’t seen it (you really it should, it’s almost as good as Finding Nemo), but I hope I’m getting through to you.

Like Sulley, by virtue of becoming a Lakers’ center, you inherited a burden of responsibility to not only to be good, but to be great. And that can be overwhelming.

But understand we’re not expecting you to be George Mikan or Kareem Abdul-Jabbar or Wilt Chamberlain or Shaq. We just want you to be Dwight.

With you in tow, the Lakers will be able to lure a superstar of your choice to become your new sidekick in the summer of 2014 through free agency.  A year or two from now, the franchise will be yours as Kobe/Mike Wazowski will be retired. In effect, the Lakers will be able to offer you everything any other team can but just in the entertainment Mecca of North America (and an extra 30 million but who’s counting).

From what I gather, what you’re afraid of most is the inability to live up to expectation. Let me tell you something, Dwight. Even if you sign with Houston, expectation won’t escape you; they’ve also had a decorated center in their franchise’s history who has accomplished more than you have, his name is Hakeem Olajuwon.

So, you can  stay in Los Angeles, embrace what’s expected of you and cement your place in the history books as the man who successfully took the baton from George, Kareem, Wilt and Shaq. Or you can go ahead flee to the Houston, where they’ve won only two playoff series in the last 18 years.

The choice is ultimately yours.

Every decision is met with a consequence. I think it’s time for you to decide what’s more important to you: to be loved or feared. Just know that wherever you decide to sign, you won’t be able to be loved by everyone, but to be the most feared big man in the league since Shaq is something no one will ever be able to take away from you.

Good luck to you Dwight, I’m sure this decision won’t haunt you forever.

Sincerely,

Gabe Lee

President of the Disgruntled Fans Association

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About The Author

Lee joined Lakers Nation in 2011 as a staff writer and attended Ryerson University in Toronto for journalism. To read more of Gabe's work for Lakers Nation click here. Follow Gabe on Twitter @therealgaber.

Number of Entries : 90
  • #dwightstay

    “Near the end of the film, Mike finds Sulley sulking by a lake and the
    two talk it out to discover that they are not that different after all;
    in fact, the two of them need one another to succeed as one’s strengths
    masked the other’s weaknesses.”……..Not that it matters much, but it’s actually Sulley who finds Mike Wazowski sulking by a lake.

  • Lamarr “LA”

    Great letter Gabe, Thanks for taking time to do this. Hopefully Dwight will read it!!

  • djsteez

    someone please send this to dwight

  • owe beese

    great freakin letter man. dwight, if you read this… you should be honored to play for LA, and even if you do good in Houston, you’ll never be as legendary as you could have been with LA. you are in the position that every big man dreams of being in. you get get to fill Shaq’s shoes… if you leave… good riddance man. we’ll replace you. but if you stay… you’ll become a legend, and i’ll be your fan forever.

  • Manny Cortez

    Common Dwight try erase our doubts our curiosity and contemplations you still have the chance. If you leave LA, it’ll remain as a speck of doubt in your mind as ‘What if” that question will forever linger in your mind. Would you be able to live a fulfilled life because you never made it in LA? Well the choice is yours PROVE US WRONG !!

  • truelakerfan

    Gabe, your dumb. Why beg a man to stay? D12 got no room in the Lakers anyway.

    -A true laker fan

  • Laker Girl

    Love this letter. It honestly captivated everything I’ve been thinking since the end of the season to now, but in a much more friendly manner. Thanks for writing this letter, I really hope Dwight reads it!

  • richard

    that’s exactly how lebron felt when his team was swept by the spurs..

  • hookedonnews

    Dwight is not Shaq. He’s not going to change who he is, and he doesn’t have to. Kobe was trying to make that happen this season, and all he did was alienate him. Howard is a great player. I don’t care if he likes to joke and have a good time. As long as he’s blocking shots and getting rebounds he can smile all he wants. Everyone needs to stop trying to make this guy someone he’s not.

    • Paytc

      Hookedonnews,
      While I do enjoy many of your post….
      I don’t think Howard benefits when we call him a “great player”.
      Howard is a “great defender/rebounder”,but he will need to improve on his offensive game to be called a “great player” in my book.There are only a handful of “great player”.So I like to save the word “great” for the few that deserve it.

      Howard will first need to improve on his foul shooting,and develop a few offensive moves.
      MJ came into the NBA and early on struggled on his jumpshot,and foul shooting.But Jordan,one of the great ones, worked to improve every weakness until it became a strength.
      Jordan also matured into a “great” player before he was truly considered one in my book.
      We throw the word “great” out there too often before guys truly deserve the label.Many times a player will have a great season and all of a sudden the media labels him a “great” player.We saw it when Jeremy Lin was at the New York Knicks.After playing only two weeks, against primarily non playoff teams,Lin was suddenly considered a great player?Only time served ,overall improvement,and maturity, truly defines greatness.

      • hookedonnews

        I agree with you that Howard needs to work on his offensive skills and his FT shooting. However, he is generally considered the best center in the league and his numbers back that up. I would not put him in the same category as Russell, Chamberlin, Jabbar, etc. But in today’s game most people regard him as a great player. Your point is well taken though. He has some work to do before he will be the kind of player that can carry a team to a championship.

        • Paytc

          With much respect, I still disagree with most people.Most people don’t think it all thru ,and come to a conclusion for themselves.That is part of our problem as a society.Whatever is popular, is considered right, even if it is not.I do think Howard has everything it takes to be a great player.But he must put the necessary work and sacrifice in to mature into his greatness.Teams are winning divisions and championships without a superstar center and will continue to do so.Howard has greatness in him,but it has not fully matured enough to be picked off the tree.It’s half ripened and shows brilliantly on his defense and rebounding side.We are waiting to see it in the mental side of his game and on offense.

          • hookedonnews

            I agree.

  • John Rodriguez

    If what D12 wants is a championship, then why even look anywhere else. Lakers & championships come hand & hand in Laker land. With 2014 right around the corner and free agents like Carmelo, Ariza, Shannon Brown, Lowry & many others, (don’t care for LBJ) that’s without mentioning that Kobe & Gasol will still be Lakers. Kobe & Gasol will take a pay cut because they’ve already got their share of money, it’ll be time for their careers to go out with a BANG! Kobe get’s his 7th, Dwight & Melo Dynasty begins, all’s well ends well.

  • Dr. Rasheed

    Always saw D12 like a bird caged in the prison (LA). You could see him suffocate in his eyes but the smile didn’t fool me. Let him free, let him live. It’s difficult decision: Agony with ($$$) Vs Happiness. Does he want to suffocate in LA or move on.
    Both Kobe and D’Antoni are not going to change that much.

    -K24 still the Alpha role player in LA.

    -Dumbtoni wrong place, wrong coach for this team.

    I asked my brother-in-law: What would you do if you were D12. He said I would accept $$$. According to him money buys happiness. I on the other hand differ. Sometimes for happiness/success you have to leave $$$; in this case millions of dollars.

    Well heart does things for reason which reason cannot understand. If my prediction is correct, he will leave L.A.

    I wish him to leave LA.
    Let Kobe be the alpha man.
    Let D’Antoni replace/trade Pau Gasol or other players who don’t fit his system.
    Give Jim Buss a chance to rebuild on what his father, a great man, accomplished.

  • ibhye

    Did this motherfucker really just call Kobe Dwights sidekick? I’m fucking done.

  • Paytc

    Gabe,

    That was a nice letter!

    The only problem I have with it is Kobe Bryant is still the most important Laker.

    The Lakers have won championships without Howard.Howard has to mature and develop his game on the offensive end.I do agree with you he will never be able to please everyone and needs to stop trying.Bill Cosby once said “I don’t know what the key to success is ,but I can tell you what is not the key,and that is trying to please everyone”.You do have to take a true look at yourself and work hard to be a better person and in this case, a better player.That will only come from sacrifice,and it starts from respecting better players than yourself, like Kobe and Shaq.Kobe and the Lakers are offering you a chance of a lifetime.You have to look past the fear,work,and frustration, to see the greatness of being a champion in the storied Laker franchise.Greatness is here to embrace you, if you want to tap into your greatness.But you can’t run from the work and sacrifice it’s gonna take on your part.I do wish you the best with whatever decision you make.

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