Blog Entry

Oh, good. Dwight Howard's back to armchair coach

Posted on: June 20, 2011 9:56 am
Edited on: June 20, 2011 3:55 pm
Posted by Matt Moore

You know, it had been awhile since we've had one of these. Dwight Howard's been so busy trying to get the media and fans off his back about being a free agent in 2012 (without ever ending the debate by saying "I'm staying, it's over, I'll sign the extension as long as the money's right," which it will be, of course) that he hasn't had any time to take pot shots at his coach, who keeps finding ways to drag the aging carcass of his team into the playoffs as a top four seed. This, with Howard still having offensive nights where the lob isn't there that make you shake your head sadly. So it's reassuring to know that Dwight's still out there. Waiting. Watching. Criticizing his coach over things he doesn't really understand.

In an interview with Hoopshype while traveling "The Continent" as some call Europe, Howard was asked about his teammate Gilbert Arenas and his struggles. Instead of pinning Arenas' struggles on adapting to the system, not being fully back from injuries, pressure or any number of easy-out answers, nor turning to even criticism of Arenas' mental preparedness or a reasonable discussion of how old Arenas is, Howard instead elected to pin the struggles on dear old Stan Van Gundy.
“I don’t think our coach used him the right way, but I think he can do a lot of great things for our team,” Howard said. “He promised me this summer he was going to get better, physically and mentally, so he can come back and have an awesome year. I’m looking forward to that.

“I just felt like he didn’t get the opportunity to play his style but also play with me. I think he needed to. I think he got a couple of opportunities to do it in the playoffs, but it was kind of too late. So I think he will be great for us.”
via NBA Blogs - Jorge Sierra » Howard critical of coach’s use of Arenas.

There are any number of things idiotic about this comment. First, Arenas hasn't shown an ability to play "his style" in three years. Even when he was playing well for Washington before the click-clack, he wasn't playing at the level Orlando needs him to. And that will be two years ago once play resumes in the fall (if it resumes).

Second, if you're going to talk about that, don't talk about how it was a matter of SVG not using him right. If you feel that way, tell the coach. Sure, you're the superstar and get to do things like that, even though your talking about how people need to be used better on offense is like Amar'e Stoudemire giving defensive pointers (yes, it's true that Stoudemire can play defense, but it's not as if he's an expert, even if Howard's offense is worlds better than STAT's defense). But talking about it in the press only fuels posts like these that in other places will wonder how discontent Howard is with his coach. 

This despite the fact that Howard went on to talk about SVG in good, if not glowing, terms:

 “I think Stan did a good job coaching this year,” Howard said. “He’s had us prepared for every game, for every playoff series that I’ve ever been in… He’s made sure that we were well-prepared. I like what he did.”
See, now, a lot of outlets are going to skip right over that because Howard said Arenas wasn't used right. This interview was less about him slamming his coach and more about him throwing his considerable weight around. Not only did Howard give his thoughts on how a perimeter-offense-based guard should be used by one of the more complex strategizing coaches in the league, he also said he felt as if he should be included in decisions. 

“I should be involved.. I think I deserve an opportunity to help make decisions as far as the future.”
Right, because I'm sure Dwight Howard's understanding of the CBA (current or future) is/will be exemplary. I'm sure he has the experience to see how pieces fit together, what does and does not work with him regardless of his perceptions. 

Next up, Dwight Howard will be asking to take over brain surgery at your local hospital and criticizing the design of your local power plant. Just don't ask him to sign a contract to stay long term to help those places get the stability they need. 

That would be asking too much. 


Since: Jun 8, 2011
Posted on: June 20, 2011 2:01 pm

Oh, good. Dwight Howard's back to armchair coach

Magic got to the finals once, with Skip-to-my-lou manning point ( Never with Jameer). Of course, SVG blew it when he started Jameer in the finals vs LAL. That said, it's difficult to put SVG in high regard, sure he's fine with the X's and O's, but there does not seem much on top of that. Seriously, inserting a guy coming off of an injury to your starting lineup in the finals. Gives you 2 obvious things : - You get a starting point guard who has no feel of the team's momentum - Jameer. - You lose the momentum of the point guard that got you there - Rafer. Is Jameer better than Rafer, probably. But that certainly was not a good decision at the time. Arenas is making a great career at tweeting, he'll soon out-twit his career points within the summer ( all in the new account ). Best option, acquire Chris Paul by any means ( outside of giving up Howard, of course ).

Since: Nov 24, 2007
Posted on: June 20, 2011 11:39 am

Oh, good. Dwight Howard's back to armchair coach

yes i am a magic fan. if i am wrong let me know but i have heard quite a bit about the superstars of teams wanting to be involved in decision making one way or another. just dont let him run the franchise but its fine to get his opinion. if they dont get his inout and do whatever he is gone. at least listen and get his input.

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