Originally posted on Around the Arc  |  Last updated 10/16/12
It must be pretty frustrating to be an Orlando fan.  For the past eight seasons the franchise has been home to one of the League’s elite superstars, and all they have to show for it is one trip to the Finals.  With all the hype and publicity surrounding Dwight Howard for the past couple seasons, one may forget that the best he was able to do for the franchise was becoming Finals fodder for Kobe and company in 2008, providing the footnoted fourth ring in his storied career.  Eight years of promise and potential, and nothing substantial to show for it.  This information must be especially tough to swallow for a fan base and franchise that is still seeking its first Championship.  And now Dwight is across the country, ready to begin his first season in purple and gold, hoping that Kobe and Laker lure will help him obtain for himself what he was unable to deliver in Orlando. This must feel like déjà vu for downtrodden Orlando fans, who already had to watch one superstar center hightail it to L.A. to team with Kobe after he was unable to find success in the Finals with Orlando.  Losing Shaq as he began to peak was painful for many Magic fans, a feeling that was only amplified after he began to take home titles, and now they’re fearful for a similar situation with Dwight.   This may seem like the end of the line to many Magic fans, as though all hope is lost.  The franchise has had the League’s best center in each of the last two decades and all in all no trophy to show for it.  That’s like going on a date with each of your school’s two hottest girls but getting no action afterwards; nothing to brag about.  Yes it is fair to assume that moral isn’t the highest among Magic fans, but believe it or not, all is not lost.  Sure they may have to watch the man who toyed with the team’s emotions for over two seasons hoist a title trophy with Kobe this coming June, while they are more than likely headed to the lottery, but in a way Dwight’s departure was a good thing. Dwight wasn’t bringing a title to Orlando on his own, and the team as it was structured, was more than a couple role players away from being a true contender, which in a way is an indictment on Dwight.  He made it clear that he could not keep Orlando elevated to elite status without serious help, and he held the team hostage with his back and forth behavior and ambivalence about his desire to even be in Orlando.  No Allen Iverson never won a title, neither did Patrick Ewing, but their dedication or their desire to win for their team could never be questioned, the same cannot be said about Dwight.  For all the fuss that was made about this guy you would think we were dealing with a player who could at least keep his team in semi-contender status, a la LeBron.  Yes he might win a title or two in L.A. with a couple future first ballot hall-of-famers in Kobe and Nash, but this is different from taking his own team to the title, which he clearly could not do. This isn’t necessarily meant to be a knock on Dwight, more just to demonstrate (to Orlando fans) that his departure isn’t the end of the world. Shaq’s void was filled by Howard and eventually someone will do the same for him.  Although this process may take some time and the faithful may be in for a couple frustrating seasons, maybe their next star will be slightly more dedicated than Dwight and not so ambivalent about their desire to be in Orlando.  If not a title, this is what the fan base truly deserves.  Technorati Tags: Orlando Magic,Dwight Howard,Los Angeles Lakers,Shaquille O'Neal,Kobe Bryant,LeBron James.
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