Los Angeles Lakers Introduce Dwight Howard

Dwight Howard posts letter to Orlando fans in local paper. Isn’t that sweet?


Ruin a season. Ruin a franchise. Desert a city. Bail on a kids’ camp. Jerk the fans around. Contribute to the coach and GM being fired.

But hey, if you write a really nice letter, everything should be just fine, right?

Dwight Howard posted a letter in the Orlando Sentinel Sunday, in a full-page ad along with photos of all the kids who will never see him play for their local team again.

“To play the game of basketball in the NBA is a blessing and to have had the opportunity to play before the Orlando fans for eight years was truly a privilege and an honor.

“Words cannot express the love that I have for Orlando. With your support we have done great things in this city from hanging banners to impacting our youth.

“Although my career with the Magic has come to a close, my love for the city and the people that make it beautiful will never end.”

via Dwight Howard says he loves Orlando in newspaper ad – Orlando Magic BasketBlog – Orlando Sentinel.

I’m touched. Orlando’s touched. Everyone’s touched.

Look, I get the sentiment. Howard wanted to say thanks for all the things that didn’t make a bit of difference when stacked up against market power, branding, and party-party-party-all-the-time. He wanted to leave things in a classy way, after one of the least classy exits in NBA history. But Howard should have left it alone. He trounced the franchise, the city, the people who invested in him. And he has the ability to do that, circumventing the intent of having a contract in the first place. Good for him, for going the extra mile to do what’s best for him and him alone.

But to make this kind of platitude after everything that’s gone on doesn’t seem disingenuous, it seems downright two-faced. Howard genuinely did a lot of good for the city of Orlando, and really did make connections which matter to him.

But if he really wanted to keep those relationships in a good place, maybe he shouldn’t have done…oh, anything over the past year?

Kings pick up option on G Ben McLemore

Ben McLemore, Rodney Hood
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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) The Sacramento have picked up the 2016-17 option on guard Ben McLemore‘s contract.

General manager Vlade Divac announced the move Saturday.

McLemore was Sacramento’s first-round pick in 2013. He averaged 12.1 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.7 assists last season.

Paul George reiterates “I don’t know if I’m cut out for a four spot”

Paul George

In the Pacers first exhibition game of the season Saturday against the Pelicans, Paul George started at the power forward spot and looked healthy — that should be the big takeaway. He also showed off his offensive game in the first quarter, eventually finishing the night with 18 points on 7-of-15 shooting. He forced some shots in the second half and had some defensive challenges, but it was a solid outing for a first preseason game.

George did not see it that way, and that will end up being the big takeaway.

He complained about playing power forward during training camp and given the chance after this one game he did it again, as reported by Candace Buckner of the Indy Star.

“I don’t know if I’m cut out for a four spot,” George said after the Pacers’ 110-105 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans, a game in which he started matched up against 6-foot-11 All-Star Anthony Davis.

“I don’t know if this is my position. We’ll sit and watch tape and I’m sure I’ll talk with coach (Frank Vogel). I’ll talk with Larry (Bird) as well to get both their inputs on how the first game went but…I’m still not comfortable with it regardless of the situation. It’s still something I have to adjust to or maybe not. Or maybe it’s something we can go away from.”

George sees himself as a wing, where he has played his entire career. He doesn’t like defending traditional fours, as a scorer he doesn’t like expending all that energy defending pick-and-rolls and banging with bigger bodies. He’s been clear about that.

He still needs to be open to the idea. How much time George gets at the four on any given night should depend on the matchup — and Anthony Davis is about as rough a matchup as he is going to see. Davis scored 18 points in 15 minutes, and the Pelicans controlled the paint against the small-ball Pacers. George had a hard time defending Davis — welcome to a rather large club, PG. That said, George scored 12 points in the first quarter mostly with Davis on him, he pulled the big out in space and got what he wanted.

Back to the matchups point, George will struggle defensively against the best fours in the game (most of whom are in the West). But what about the nights in the East when George would be matched up on Thaddeus Young from Brooklyn, Jared Sullinger (or David Lee, or whoever) from Boston, or Aaron Gordon with the Magic, or Carmelo Anthony with the Knicks when they play small? There are a lot of lineups the Pacers will see where George at the four makes sense.

The Pacers are transitioning from a plodding and defensive-minded squad to a more up-tempo style, and that’s going to take time— a lot more than one preseason game. However, if George is throwing cold water on the plan after this one effort, it might take a lot longer and be a lot bumpier to make that transition than we pictured.