Dwight Howard is by far the best center in the NBA and he has dominated that position unlike anyone else since Shaquille O’Neal at his prime and Dwight taking on the alias “Superman” surely does not lessen the comparisons between him and Shaq. Like Dwight, Shaq started his career as a member of the Orlando Magic and now that Dwight Howard is about to become a free agent he is capable of putting that organization through even more turmoil than when Shaquille O’Neal left as a free agent. Dwight Howard has been the focal point of this entire 2011-2012 season. Soon as the lockout ended and Chris Paul finally landed in Los Angeles as a Clipper all the attention went towards Dwight and he only made things worse for himself by giving the organization a list of teams he would like to be traded to; the New Jersey Nets, the Los Angeles Lakers, and the Dallas Mavericks. Soon as that list surfaced to the public the flood gates flew opened.
From Christmas Day until the trade deadline on March 15th the main topic of discussion was where Dwight would land. If he went to the Lakers he would stay in Shaq’s shadow but the Magic would at least receive equal value. If he went to the Nets he would have probably been the dumbest move in his career because why would you go to a team that would have to give up everything to get you then you get there and it’s just you, Deron Williams, and rookie Mashon Brooks. If he went to the Mavericks it would probably be the best move for him because Mark Cuban would give up everyone but Dirk Nowitzki and they could acquire Deron Williams in the off-season. Then, there was speculation he would end up on the Chicago Bulls which would probably be an even better move than going to Dallas because a Dwight Howard/Derrick Rose combination is virtually unstoppable but Dwight said he did not want to be the second fiddle in Chicago & “the city is too cold”.
Now, there is speculation that the Orlando Magic organization guaranteed Dwight Howard a coaching change next season he would agree to opt-in to his contract and stay through the 2012-2013 season. Dwight did opt-in to his contract so common sense tells us that Stan Van Gundy‘s five year stint as the head coach of the Orlando Magic is coming to an end. The fact that Dwight Howard is the cause of Stan Van Gundy’s soon unemployment is more than ironic, it is almost deja vu, because in the 2005-2006 Miami Heat championship-winning season Stan Van Gundy was the head coach for the bulk of the season until supposedly Shaquille O’Neal complained to the Heat organization and the team ended the season and won their first championship with Pat Riley as the head coach.