The most dominating player in the NBA has caused quite a stir this season. It started with a trade request, then a wishlist, then indecision, the wanting coaches fired and then denial. The drama that Dwight Howard has caused cannot be understated, and that drama has resulted in a struggling Orlando Magic squad. Here’s the timeline including the most important dates of the Dwight drama.
December 10th: Dwight Howard officially requests a trade from the Magic. Howard tells Magic GM Otis Smith that he’d like to be traded to the New Jersey Nets.
January 16th: Dwight ads Clippers to wish list that already features the Nets, Mavericks, and Lakers. Howard was answering questions about his wish list after his team nearly lost to the lowly Bobcats.
January 23rd: The Magic reach out to the Knicks about a possible Dwight for Tyson Chandler and Amar’e Stoudemire trade.
February 29th: The Golden State Warriors and Orlando Magic start discussing a possible trade including Monta Ellis. The Magic want Ellis so Howard will want to stay with Orlando, and Golden State wants Howard because… well… he’s really good.
March 1st: This is the day when players who signed contracts before the season can be dealt. In other words this was when Howard officially could be traded. This is when all the trade rumors really started to heat up.
March 14th: Orlando is fighting to win their division, but all anyone seems to care about is whether Dwight will be traded. It is one day before the trade deadline and the Magic are playing the Spurs. The Magic players and coaches are clearly frustrated with the focus on Dwight instead of the team, and are excited for the trade deadline to pass. Many thought this would be Dwight’s last game in a Magic uniform
March 15: The trade deadline. The rumors were crazy and very believable. It was falsely reported that Dwight was traded to the Nets, and there were even Howard New Jersey Nets jersey’s being sold on NBA.com.
March 16: The trade deadline has passed, and Dwight hasn’t been traded. This was a sad day for Nets fans, and was a happy one for Magic fans. At least they thought it was. It was revealed that Dwight will opt in for the final year of his contract, which is next season. This means that Dwight will not be a free agent this summer, but also means that this whole trade debocale will happen next year as well.
March 25: It is revealed that Dwight’s decision to stay with Orlando came because he didn’t want to play for the Lakers. The Orlando front office reportedly told him that if he didn’t make a decision on whether he didn’t want to stay by the end of March 15 than they would trade him to the Lakers. Howard’s decision was between the Lakers and Orlando, and he chose Orlando.
April 5 (morning): Stan Van Gundy states pre-game that Dwight Howard wants him fired. Minutes after initially accusing Howard of wanting him fired he confirms it in front of a huge group of reporters. Then comes the most awkward situation ever. While confirming his Howard accusations he gets hugged by Howard and Dwight says “Yeah Stan we’re not worrying about that right.” Van Gundy leaves the awkward situation and Howard is left answering questions about this situation. He decides to neither accept nor decline the accusations, and instead he makes fun of the reporters when asked about wanting his coach fired. Video below.
April 5 (afternoon): David Aldridge of NBA on TNT first to report it nationally, which he does in the middle of the Magic’s blowout loss to the Knicks.
April 17: Sources say Howard still doesn’t want to play for Van Gundy moving forward and that he’s still upset that the head coach confirmed Pingalore’s first report. In other words, he wants Van Gundy gone but doesn’t want anyone knowing about it.
April 19: According to WKMG’s David Pingalore, Dwight Howard has made a call to the Magic owner, and has stated he won’t play for Stan Van Gundy. Pingalore also reported that Dwight’s back injury is more serious then initial expected, and he went as far as staiting that Howard “would also likely sit out the postseason”.