For years when Howard played in Orlando he was considered as golden as the sun that shown there. He rarely got any negative press and was often considered one of Basketballs best centers and re-bounders in the current game. During the Allstar game of 2012 which was hosted in Orlando and saw Howard as it’s ambassador, rumors rampantly circulated that Howard was unhappy. Up for free agency after that season, it was made more evident during an on camera interview that saw Howard interrupt the coach who blasted him to the media. Not knowing what he had walked into, Howard was caught off guard and a crack in his persona that NBA insiders had known all too well was now on the grand scale of national news. Many felt that that situation was the catalyst that led Howard to the decision to exercise his free agency and move to Los Angeles.
Between seasons, Howard was blasted by sports commentators throughout the country. The once golden boy was now being labeled a punk who was weak and unable to withstand pressure. The move to the Lakers made it even more so daunting. Choosing to move to a city where he would be a part of one of the countries storied franchises and in a city that had the brightest lights didn't seem like a move he could handle. But he moved..... and he failed. Never living up to the expectations put upon him he didn't have the best of seasons and was a mere shadow of the person he showed himself to be in Florida. So when, free agency rumors began circulating for a second year that he would probably now be leaving LA, many weren't surprised. Instead of understanding he was shown disrespect and was called unflattering names by fans and commentators alike. Including myself!
After taking some time to think about his decision, I came to realize that maybe he was the smart one. He chose less money to play in a city with less glare on a team where he will be the star. Howards move to Houston on the outset looks like a weak one but maybe quite possibly he knows himself better than we give him credit for. Yeah he often whines and complains a lot but so what? We often make decisions for choices other than what our mind and body are telling us. Instead of choosing monetary value, Howard made a move that showcased his vulnerability. By moving to Houston, he showed us that he can stand up and proclaim that he isn't the strongest person emotionally. He showed us that just because he’s a 6”11 man with more money than anyone reading this will probably ever see doesn't mean that he has thick skin. We all have an Achilles heal, and the fame and notoriety of playing on that grand of scale is probably one of Howards.
So when we stand in a place of judgment and decide to pick apart someone because they chose not to be motivated by the things we think they should be maybe we should take a breath and put ourselves in the same situation. The fact of the matter is that whatever the reason behind his decision was it was his. He may never get the fame and adoration that he may have garnered from playing in a big city, but maybe he didn't want it. Maybe choosing contentment and happiness for himself over feeling depressed and unhappy will be his real reward. Maybe we should all just mind our own business haha :-)