Found March 13, 2013 on Taking Bad Schotz:

The Sunshine State, the place where the beaches meet the orange groves, where Parrot-heads and tourists were born, where retirees come to die. Right in the heart of this great state is the former home of Lakers star Dwight Howard. The place where basketball was left to die in the Florida heat. In the biggest basketball move of the offseason, Dwight was traded to the Lakers and so ended another reign of basketball semi-greatness in Orlando. The town that lost Shaq had lost another star in Dwight. Superman had fled the scene, twice. Children cried, women wept, and men groaned as the Lakers stole away another star. Magic stock has hit an all time low, the House that Dwight Built needs a new tenant, and central Florida basketball is on life support. But wait, a day that was circled on calendars all over Florida was approaching. March 12th, the long awaited return of Dwight to the Amway Center. In a building that rarely fills half its seats this season was suddenly expecting 19,000. Excitement was up, the Magic were ready for the ultimate showdown with the now infamous former Floridian. Dwight was calling his former teammates ‘the guys no one else wanted’ and old teammates were firing back. Recently traded J.J. Redick even said, “I would be more surprised when Dwight starts taking responsibility.” The stage was set for an eventful return. Photo Credit: John Raoux/AP As tip-off approached, fans were pumped in Amway on Tuesday night. As Dwight dunked the ball in pre-game warm-ups, the crowd was circling like sharks at a frenzy, and at long last they had their chance to strike. As Paul Porter reported the intro the crowd knew so well, “The 6’11’’ center from Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy number 12, Dwight Howard.” The rafters that once hoped to hold a champion banner were now rocking with the booing of thousands of fans. Dwight took it with a grin and went to work. It seemed for three quarters that the basketball gods would give Magic fans what they wanted, a win over their new arch-nemesis. The team consisting of the players nobody wanted was playing like they had something to prove and even though the present looks bleak the future has hope. You can see the pieces of a future contender in Orlando. Nikola Vucevic and Arron Afflalo represent the future of a Magic team built on the pieces of the Dwight trade and Orlando’s new number 12 is making noise in a quiet season. Tobias Harris added 17 points to the rematch and represented a new era present in Orlando. Ironically, in a symbolic moment, Magic point guard Jameer Nelson caught Dwight as he was falling to the floor. Jameer was holding him up by the arms like you a hold a friend when they fall during a ‘trust’ test. As fans yelled, “drop him!” Jameer gently lowered him down and walked away; a short silent treatment that screamed oh so loudly. But behold, it was all for not. Three hours, 39 points, and 16 rebounds later, Dwight emerged from the Amway Center with the last laugh. The Magic fell 106 to 97 and gave their fans an even stronger desire to get ‘em the next time. The Lakers left victorious and fans were left to ponder the future of Orlando basketball. Maybe the draft will be good to Orlando once again, and the Amway Center will be the home of a basketball great, and maybe that star will actually stick around. But one thing was clear on that Orlando Tuesday night. Fans were in no mood to forgive Dwight Howard just yet. Jerseys that once held his name now had duct tape X’s and ‘Coward’ written across them. The only Howard apparel proudly worn was in purple and gold. Orlando’s ESPN 580 was giving out posters before the game that contained ‘Dwight Chants’ with such gold as ‘Dee-Vah’ and ‘Loy-Al.’ The city that once hated Shaq now had a new man to despise. Unfortunately for Magic fans, Goliath left with a dented ego and a win while David was left to continue picking up the pieces. -Reynolds


Glen Davis Taunting Dwight Howard In Orlando Return

Much has been made of Dwight Howard’s return to Orlando, the place he made his home in the NBA prior to being dealt to the Los Angeles Lakers. The return is tonight, and the Orlando fans have been making their emotions knows, with plenty of booing aimed at their former franchise center. Many of the Orlando faithful hate the way that Howard handled his situation with the Magic,...

Howard shows he can hack it in Orlando return

ORLANDO, Fla. -- On a night when Orlando Magic fans showed up in droves to boo Dwight Howard for his acrimonious defection to Los Angeles last summer, the one-time Magic savior ended up driving them out of their own arena early in a convincing and redemptive 106-97 Lakers win at Amway Center. In his first return to Orlando since the August trade that finally put an end to months...

Howard can expect icy reception in Orlando

It's the game that's been circled on every Orlando Magic fans' calendar since the beginning of the season. Lakers vs. Magic -- 7 p.m. ET -- March 12, 2013. The return of Dwight Howard. It won't be a warm reception for the once beloved Magic center, who had called Orlando home for the first eight seasons of his NBA career. But all the love turned to bitterness...

Stan Van Gundy Says the Magic Should Retire Dwight Howard’s Number

I guess time really does heal all wounds. Former Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy, really seems to have let bygones be bygones when it comes to the player who was allegedly, is the main reason why he lost his job. In a story in the Orlando Sentinel, Van Gundy, apparently told a local radio station that not only should Magic fans cheer Dwight Howard but that the organization should...

Magic can't slow down Dwight Howard in loss

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- Dwight Howard scored a season-high 39 points, had 16 rebounds and was sent to the free throw line 39 times by his former team as the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Orlando Magic, 106-97 on Tuesday night. The victory came in Howard's first return to Orlando since his drama-filled offseason trade to the Lakers. He endured a chorus of boos throughout, and tied...

Stan Van Gundy: The Magic should Retire Dwight Howard’s Number

Remember when Stan Van Gundy let it be known to the media that Dwight Howard told management he wants him fired? That seems like a long time ago. If the phrase “time heals all wounds” is true, Van Gundy is a prime example with some of his recent comments. In a story done by the [...]

It’s time for Magic fans to move on from Dwight Howard

I think I said it best way I could on the Facebook last night. I’ve been waiting 7 months for this night. I know it’s not changing anything, and there is a good chance that we’ll be blown out of the building, but for the next 2 and a half hours I’m going to let Dwight Howard know how much he pisses me off. It’s the beauty of sports. Yeah, Dwight Howard was smuggled into...

Howard focusing on happy times he spent in Orlando

Dwight Howard is only thinking about the happy times he spent with the Magic as has he prepares to return to Orlando for the first time since his drama-filled offseason departure. The Los Angeles Lakers center upset Magic fans and some of his former teammates last week when he appeared to criticize them during a television interview. He said after the Lakers morning shoot around...

Howard silences vengeful Magic crowd

The Magic were going to ride emotion as long as they could against Dwight Howard and the Lakers at Amway Center. The crowd was going to give it to them as they welcomed Howard back to his old stomping grounds for the first time as an opponent. The Magic fans booed loudly and roundly. Howard smiled back, mocked booing at himself too and basked in everything that was the atmosphere...

Orlando Magic fans express their feelings for Dwight “Coward” (Photos)

With the Lakers in Florida facing off against Dwight Howard’s former squad, Orlando Magic,  some fans decided to voice their opinions….differently. One fan in particular expressed his utter hatred for [...]

Dwight Howard tells Orlando Magic fan “your mama liked me last night”

I think Dwight Howard embraced his role as villian in his return to Orlando. Fans were heckling and jeering Howard the entire night. One fan managed to get Dwight’s attention and Dwight asked if the fan’s mother hated him too and then followed it up with “your mamma liked me last night.”   The last NBA player I recall embracing the dark side was LeBron James in his move...

Dwight Howard makes 25-of-39 free throws in return win over Orlando (video)

Dwight Howard's return to the Magic Kingdom was a success. D12 continued his recent return to form, dominating his old comrades with 39 points, 16 rebounds, two assists, a steal and three blocks. But the number that jumps out of the box score: Howard made 25-of-39 free throws. Thirty-nine free-throw attempts is an obscene number of foul shots. That ties a career-high number...

A billboard in Orlando, Florida is counting down when Dwight Howard leaves them again

  Orlando Magic fans are still bitter about Dwight Howard leaving them.  The whole Dwight Howard saga really left the city and the fans a reason to dislike the young [...]

Howard's return to Orlando sure to be a memorable one

After taking the city of Orlando through a dramatic soap opera, Dwight Howard has returned to the city he scorned and left for the bright lights of Hollywood. The Los Angeles Lakers visit the Magic for the first time this season, bringing Howard back for the first time to face the team and the fans he gave the first eight seasons of his career to. I have a feeling most of the...
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