We passed along the tweets from Dwight Howard last week that he was frustrated with Orlando fans, that he wants them to be louder during the regular season.
It wasn’t a fair criticism. Orlando just build a brand new stadium for the Magic and the fans have sold out 100 plus games. Knocking them came off poorly.
Howard didn’t want to come off that way (he is a guy who wans to be liked). He spoke with the Orlando Sentinel and tried to reassure the people of Orlando that he loves them.
“I want to clear it up. In no shape, form or fashion am I criticizing our fans. My whole statement was when the season’s around, and the playoffs come, it’s a different atmosphere. And if you want to win a championship, we all gotta act as champions. That’s players, coaches, and even our city. The city can win a championship, especially a city like ours. We need to come together, and not just for a couple games and the playoffs. If we’re together all season, there’s no doubt in my mind that we can win a championship. I will know that I have my city behind me.”
There’s more of Howard trying to spin his comments at the Sentinel. I don’t think at any point Howard was trying to belittle Orlando fans, he’s not a mean spirited guy like that. He just likes the playoff atmosphere better. We all do.
If Howard leaves Orlando, it will not be because of the fans or the building. It will be about rings and if he thinks he can win them there, nothing else. The fans will not see it that way, but they are certainly in Howard’s “reasons to stay” column.
Come on Orlando Magic ticket holders — when they start pumping in the “every-body-clap-your-hands” noise at the Amway Center, Dwight Howard wants you feel it. Really feel it.
On twitter yesterday a Magic fan made a complaint to Howard that fans in 29 other arenas make — the fans close to floor are just there to be seen, not because they are true fans. (Okay, 28 other arenas, nobody wants to be seen in Minnesota.) They’re not loud enough.
It was Howard’s response that was interesting, as caught by Zach McCann at the Orlando Sentinel.
Howard wrote back, “that upsets me cuz I don’t wait till the playoffs to play hard. I give y’all my best everynite. Y becuz some people don’t get a chance to be at everygame. And I want them to always remember the nite they saw me play. So. I play for y’all. I feed off the fans. ESP at home. It’s a different atmosphere in the playoffs at the arena. That same atmosphere should be during the season.”
I’m not questioning Howard’s effort, but he doesn’t really think the players come with the same level of focus and intensity during the regular season that they do during the playoffs, does he? Everybody steps up in the playoffs, fans and players a like.
Still, smooth move Howard. During a lockout I think there is no better move then telling the paying fans that they need to be more into it. Well done sir. The reason Howard makes his sweet salary is the suites and premier-priced seats near the court. All those suites make it a little quieter in the building, but they go for much higher prices than normal seats. Which is really how teams make their money. Then give 57 percent of that to the players.