Pro Athletes Owe Fans Nothing

In his return to Orlando, Dwight Howard dropped a bomb on Magic fans, to the tune of 39 points, 16 rebounds, two assists, three blocks and a steal. It was surprising considering Dwight’s struggles to this point.

What was not surprising is the reaction he received.

Boos. A chorus of them. An entire arena of fans who felt they had been cheated when Dwight skipped town to join forces with Kobe, Steve Nash, and Pau Gasol in Los Angeles.

Does that sound crazy to anyone else?

Dwight Howard owes you nothing.

Yes, he was a jerk. Yes, he changed his mind fifteen times in the span of a year. Yes, he got his coach fired and blew up an entire roster. Hate him for that. But don’t hate him because you think he’s obligated to stay in Orlando just because the Magic drafted him. He was drafted by the Magic out of high school. If he wanted to play professional basketball in the NBA, he had to accept a multi-year deal and play it out until the end of the contract, regardless of personal comfort with his new situation.

And he did.

For nine years.

During which time he was selected to the NBA All-Star game seven times.

Yes, he went about it the wrong way, but after nine years of service he was finally able to choose where he wanted to work. He chose somewhere else.

Is that so bad?



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