Dwightmare; Copycats; Boise Blues
For the Orlando Magic, the Dwightmare continues.
Unhappy center Dwight Howard is severely limiting the club’s options by insisting that he will only sign an extension if he is traded to the Brooklyn Nets. Anyone else would have to risk having Howard for only one year. Apparently the relationship between star and team was irretrievably strained when then-coach Stan Van Gundy announced that Howard went to management demanding that the coach be fired. When neither the general manager nor the owner spoke up to support Howard’s denial, the die was cast.
His actions indicate that Howard doesn’t much care what happens to the Magic as long as he is out of there.
* Pro sports leagues have been copycats for a long time and to an amazing degree. In pro football, when one team started to zone blitz, all the others followed. When the wildcat formation came into vogue, everyone had the package. And when Bill Belichick started going heavily to tight ends downfield, the Indianapolis Colts promptly drafted two tight ends, and others will follow suit. In baseball, one team starts to over-shift for left-handed pull hitters, and now most everyone is doing it.
So it should come as no surprise that with the Miami Heat’s success with the Big 3 (LeBron, Wade and Bosh), and the Thunder with its own trio (Durant, Westbrook and Harden), other teams will channel their success. Already the Nets are trying to put Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and Dwight Howard together, and Atlanta general manager Danny Ferry is dumping contracts to try to lure his own triumvirate. Of course, the problem is that it leaves very little cap space for everyone else. But, the thinking goes, older, established players will play for relative peanuts for the chance to wear a championship ring. We’ll see how that plays out with Ray Allen, the Celtic free agent who can get only $3 million from Miami but twice that to remain with Boston as part of its own Big Three (with Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce).
Here’s a news flash: The money matters to all but a very few NBA players. Players like Miami’s Shane Battier are few and far between.
* We are told that Boise State’s application to the Big West will be decided on before September. I’ve already said that Hawaii and the other Big West schools should evaluate what Boise State brings to the party. No baseball, and mediocrity or worse in men’s and women’s’ basketball, softball and volleyball. Apparently the Broncos are willing to pay travel expenses and an entry fee to gain admittance.
I was surprised to see that UC-Santa Barbara athletic director Gary Cunningham said he thinks Boise will eventually be admitted. While vindictiveness and revenge are unworthy emotions, I am tickled that Hawaii will not have to pay travel subsidies to anyone admitted after UH got in, which would mean that Hawaii should receive travel money from Boise if it is accepted. After Boise didn’t want to admit UH to the Mountain West, that’s poetic justice.