The Truth About: Da White Howard
“I’m a start going to Dwight…da white around your lips.” – Serial Monogamist Mike Epps
I’ve never liked Dwight Howard’s game, and I don’t think he’s a good BASKETBALL player but when it comes down to it, he’s had a productive fucking career. Why don’t I like Dwight’s game? Other than the fact his footwork resembles that of a door too big for it’s hinges, it’s because he’s not like the centers I grew up watching and loving. I had to let that ideology go; Patrick Ewing, Hakeem Olajuwon (my favorite center ever), David Robinson, etc. Dwight was dubbed “Superman”, the nickname reserved for another adolescent favorite of mine, Shaquille O’Neal. That more than anything is why I despised Dwight Howard and his game because he was more Bizarro than Superman (Haitian Jeff look at me with the superhero references). Still the fact remained that his lack of competition wasn’t his fault, let’s be real, who the fuck were the centers during “prime” Dwight years? I mean he’s 30 and seems over his peak but again, I have to reconcile with the fact I really just resented him because he wasn’t as dominant against lesser talent as I’d expect him to be for him to be called the “best”. So here is the truth about the guy responsible for blocking us from the most hyped Finals EVER, who happens to look like Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall did a face swap.
t’s almost insane to think back and realize people really debated Emeka Okafor vs. Da White Howard in the 2004 draft; spooky even. And we as a society, NBA or otherwise are always looking to anoint someone the “next” or the “new” and this high school phenom couldn’t escape that relegation as the “Next/New Shaq”. Most people cannot live up to their own expectations, let alone the expectations of others to be as great as this idea they conjure up in their head for them. I am guilty of doing this to Da White Howard. For his career he’s averaged 18pts-13rebs-2blks-1stl in an NBA conducive to allowing perimeter play to flourish. Even still, his impact on games are deeper than the numbers, defenses would collapse on Da White making it easier for his teammates to get open shots or dive thru the paint for easy points.
Da White’s impact on defense was fucking crazy, he’s a 3-time DPOY winner and that may even still be underrating him. Defense MATTERS and his mere presence was enough to have to have offensive players never even think about stepping foot into his paint, it also allowed bad defenders like James Haren (think about it) to gamble in the passing lanes for steals because he was/is such a security blanket. Now I’m of the belief that defense is not a skill but more predicated on effort and timing. Understanding most don’t have natural instincts, I still feel that it could be made up for with effort; Da White has both.
We somehow always manage to equate individual production/success to team accomplishments or lack thereof. Look at the teams Da White has played with and look at his teammates. Let’s start with his current team, the Houston Rockets; he has an incredible offensive threat on his team in James Haren, then what? He has one of my favorite players in Patrick Beverly there but he’s my favorite because he reminds me of the basketball players I grew up watching, tough, no back down, talking shit and he looks like Chris from The Wire. Seriously, what else is there on this team? Ok, he was on the Lakers with Colorado Kob and that was a disaster but was it his fault? People blamed the “spotlight” and/or Colorado being too tough on him and completely forget the fact that Gasol was spent after playing deep into the playoffs for years and the Olympics. Ron Ron Artest became Metta World Peace, Steve Nash missed 32 games and he was falling off. It was a bad marriage, with Mike Brown and then Mike Antoni (think about it) as the coaches. Now, his original team, the Orlando Magic, a team that consisted of a bunch of shooters who had absolutely no business in the Finals whatsoever. Da White played on another level and elevated his teammates to do the same and here is where more of my resentment kicks in.
Pay attention on this, Colorado Kob and LBJ were destined for the Finals against each other. Everything was in their favor, the NBA had fucking puppets created in their image as a marketing tool for the inevitable payoff. Pastor Jeezy had a song about their jersey numbers 23,24 and you know when David Stern wanted something; he [usually] got it! What had happened was Da White & the Magic (not Magics as my Haitians would say) embarrassed LeBron and his Cavs to the point where LeBron already made his decision to leave after failing to hold up his end of the bargain. This shit gets deeper than rap right here, Da White pissed Colorado Kob off and blocked that matchup he was dying for, so much so that Colorado Kob got Da White to L.A. just to break his spirit and bury him in the eyes of the media and fans. Yes, Colorado Kob is that sick of a person and Da White was on the wrong end of this evil plot. Notice how LBJ went to Florida? He did so to steal the spotlight from Da White; it’s been a conspiracy all along and we all fell for it!
I understand how polarizing of a figure Da White is, the Superman cape and all the shenanigans for a big man who doesn’t seem to have a mean bone in his body. We all wanted Da White to be someone and something he isn’t while we ignore what he is and that’s a damn productive NBA player with a 1st ballot Hall of fame career. To look at a player at 30 years old and think of them as washed up (I get centers age badly like running backs) is wild to me, especially considering he can be a game, season and even franchise changing defender. Having said all of that, I’m honestly just preparing and softening the blow of him possibly coming to the Knicks because God has the greatest sense of humor ever and I’m his punch line.
Next week I tell the truth about the point guard who seems to go unscathed in NBA talk, Chris ‘I was a Laker for 10 minutes and was almost a Knick but they didn’t wait and went to get Tyson Chandler who Al Patron hates instead’ Paul.