Everybody who isn't sick of Dwight Howard, please raise your hand. No one? OK, that's what I thought.
Howard has somehow turned himself from one of the most-liked players in the league to one of the least-liked in two years. Remember when Howard was in the dunk contest, dressing like Superman and winning over fans young and old alike? What happened to that jovial superstar?
Well, as if last year's "will he, won't he" trade saga wasn't enough, now he's a free agent and again starting rumors. Word is, he is already throwing teams he'd like to sign with out there, such as the Rockets and Mavericks. Of course, he's also making it clear he's far apart on re-signing with the Lakers.
If he signs with the Lakers he can make more money in accordance with the collective bargaining agreement, since they would be re-signing him.
Oh, but wait. Did you notice something similar about those two teams he threw out there?
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They're both in Texas, which has no state income tax (unlike California). That's not a coincidence.
Howard, and likely his agents, throws those two teams out there because he knows the playing field is more even with the Lakers thanks to no income tax.
It's disgusting how dramatic Howard has become. Just shut up and take care of your business behind closed doors. When has negotiating in the media made a guy look good? Ask Osi Umenyiora how that worked out for him? The Giants, who are as classy an organization as you'll find, said "thanks but no thanks" and let Umenyiora walk to Atlanta. And Giants fans didn't care that a guy with 75 sacks in nine years was gone.
Here's hoping the Lakers follow the same path. It's not like they had any success with the suddenly injury-prone center this year. Hell, let him walk and sign Chris Paul.
Now there's a good rumor to start.
Follow Metro New York Sports Editor Mark Osborne on Twitter @MetroNYSports. How has Dwight Howard become Alex Rodriguez?