The award for best actor in a dramatic series during the 2012-13 NBA season goes to… Dwight Howard of the Los Angeles Lakers.
Who else, right?
Earlier this month, Dwight Howard continued his season of drama on two fronts. First he started a war of words with his former Orlando Magic teammates. During a routine media gathering, Howard threw out several controversial quotes that appeared to blame the Magic organization for his failures as a player in his time there. The comments were also critical of veteran and well respected NBA players like Jameer Nelson and JJ Redick that Howard played with in Orlando.
When his former Orlando teammates fired back, Howard was forced to clarify his comments further and of course he back-tracked, saying that, “My comments were never to say anything disrespectful to those guys. Those were my teammates for years. They helped me become the player that I am today…”
Then, instead of keeping quiet for awhile in hopes of slipping to the back pages of the Internet’s leading sports websites, Howard decided to fire up some more drama a week later by talking with the media about the attitude change he embarked on during the All-Star weekend in Houston last month.
That’s right, amid all the on-court festivities, late night parties and A-list celebrities down in Houston during All-Star Weekend, Howard had an epiphany. “I just stayed in the hotel and thought about the first half of the season and how I could do better for our team,” Howard told a large group of reporters on Saturday, “And I just told myself, ‘I’m going to commit myself to being better for the second half of the season.’”
According to Howard, his rededication included changing his diet, improving on his fitness level, changing his mental approach to playing with the Lakers and most importantly, embracing the concept of playing alongside NBA superstar Kobe Bryant. So with Howard finally playing well and all of his personal drama seemingly behind the Lakers, the season was really looking up for the Kobe & company. That is, until Monday night when the Lakers got smacked around–literally and figuratively–by the Golden State Warriors during a 109-103 loss.
However, the loss by the Lakers was not what anyone wanted to discuss during the post-game media session. Instead, the focus was on an incident between Howard and Golden State’s David Lee (23 points and 12 rebounds in the game) in which Howard ended up with a bloody lip and received a technical foul.
The incident that has inspired all the drama happened in the second quarter as a Lee elbow caught Howard in the face and cut his lip. Howard received a technical foul for jawing with Lee over the elbowing. Howard, who needed three stitches, missed the remainder of the first half was not happy after the game. He stirred up the drama machine by promising to get revenge on Lee.
“He got away with a shot,” Howard said, “I will remember this game. I will remember that shot. He said he wasn’t trying to do it. You can look at the play and see it for yourself. I will take care of it later.”
Lee claimed the elbow was accidental. Additionally, the NBA doesn’t take too well to threats of physical violence between players, so it is almost a certainty that Howard will be hearing from League Commissioner David Stern shortly.
Given all of the unnecessary attention Howard has brought on himself this year, it would probably have been in his best interest to let the incident go without commenting, let alone making a threat. However, that wouldn’t be the dramatic way to do things and Howard loves his drama.