Getting blown out is part of the NBA, even for great teams. Then again, Dwight Howard has felt this experience more often than he cares to admit. With the trade deadline passed, is he regretting not leaving to play with Derrick Rose or Kobe Bryant?
Rose-less Chicago Bulls humiliate Howard and Orlando Magic at home
Not having an MVP like Rose would sink a lot of good teams but the Chicago Bulls have made a habit out of winning even when their stars are hurt. That habit was on full display when they limped down to Florida and completely hammered the healthy Orlando Magic and their star center. Howard and his teammates had no answer for a Bulls' defense that suffocated them through four quarters, only allowing a franchise record of 59 points scored. Meanwhile, the offense didn't come from Derrick Rose but it did get a boost from Carlos Boozer who scored 24 points. The Bulls' win avenges a rough defeat the team suffered from Orlando earlier in the season but also opens up a world of question about whether Dwight Howard made a mistake staying put. His trade value was the highest of any player in recent memory and he could have gone anywhere he wanted. The problem was the list of teams he wanted to go to was puzzling, specifically not including Chicago which would have paired him with superstar point guard Rose. He also could have left for the west coast and joined another star name in L.A.
Los Angeles Lakers likely wish Bryant hadn't broken up major trade offers
When fans celebrate the Los Angeles Lakers settling their biggest trade of the year being Ramon Sessions, clearly something went wrong. That something was team leader Kobe Bryant. At the height of the Howard trade mania, experts all thought it was destiny that the Lakers would break up their aging core to bring the All-Star center west to pair with the future Hall of Fame guard. Instead, to the surprise and sorrow of fans and the front office, Bryant spoke candidly that he thought Howard at best was a second or third option for a real championship team. Not long after those comments came out the trade rumors around the L.A. dried up. Robbed of their biggest prize, Los Angeles settled for shipping a first round pick and Derek Fisher to Houston for a young point guard in Sessions. It was the second trade to fall apart in the calendar year for L.A., and unlike the Bulls, they've had to claw and fight for wins even when they're healthy.
No one can call Dwight Howard stupid but they might call him selfish. He could have played with two of the best in the NBA. The Chicago Bulls hammered his Orlando Magic without Derrick Rose and Kobe Bryant didn't even want him on the Los Angeles Lakers. He claims he wants that same franchise status those two enjoy, which explains why he stayed put. However, one has to question whether he has what it takes to shoulder that burden when the time comes to win a championship.