Smile Like Dwight Needs It
I end my hibernation from the land of freedarkmo' to publish my volume of musings on the singular individual who is rivaling Dwyane Wade for the sheer time I spend pondering his being. None other than Dwight Howard.
Let's flash back to Dwight's senior year of high school, where at times he was labeled the LeBron of the Post - endlessly talented since he soiled his first diaper. A silly thing happened though. Dwight's Christian Cred was viewed as a weakness versus the King's Street Cred. Dwight was nearly too nice because of that cheshire grin. NBA Scouts thought it a sympton of repeated viewings of A Smile Like Yours, the Greg Kinnear and Lauren Holly epic.
At draft time, we were juggling between Okafor and Dwight. Oka was the sentimental favorite, a good guy who had college success and could be a dominant defender. Dwight was the latest prep with ? marks, and I bet it was part of the reasoning that three straight drafts couldn't yield three straight freaks after Amare and King. It took a Hockey GM - trained to project teens to pros - to cut through all the bull shit and see that Dwight's pedigree does not need to be spited because he's a nice kid.
And yet, this year on the court he hasn't been nice. He's a terror. Granted, the Magic have developed into a good spot for him to land. Between the Franchise, Big Cat, and When Healthy Hill, the shots are spread to three and three alone. Dwight concentrates on rebounding, terrorizing on defense and lobbing rebounds up into the basket. Yet, his statistics are out of space. He is averaging a double double, with 11.5 ppg and 10.1 rpg. Just this past week he swatted 7 Baby Bulls shots to show that Chandler and the absent Curry are teasers, and Reverend Dwight brings the truth. He is farther along then Amare or KG were as the most obvious examples of preps to pros 4s.
The gasper is the three 20 rebound performances he's had. I'm also impressed that he never hit the rookie wall playing major minues late in the season (the Magic have handled his work load well for all their other failures).
I can't believe there is even a discussion as to who the rookie of the year should be. Okafor has played well, and Gordon has made a huge climb as the season wears on, but the most dominant of all of them is clearly the one that was born in 1985 (21 days shy of 1986 in fact).
Given the NBA's embarassment of riches, I would put Dwight right up there with the holy trinity of LeBron, Wade and Amare. If I had my pick of the litter, my order to build a franchise would go - LeBron, Dwyane, Dwight and Amare. I pick Wade ahead because he fills the seats and has proven that he's got more heart of a champion then any of them has or will have.
The saturation of talent is something that I just can't handle. Its like New Jersey Taffy stuck between my teeth. It brings me back to the Lauren Holly stupid smile, that needs to be wiped out by a Andres Nocioni Meat Hook. Look at the revulsion:
Kinnear: Promise me one thing.
Kinnear: When we have our baby... (beat) he'll have a smile like yours.
I've never gotten over that line. Because - baby tears aside - I'm a pragmatist - so I tell my love a little different. It goes a little something like this:
Andreo: Bitch, this is what you're going to do.
Andreo: When we're slappin skins I want you to visualize 6 feet, 11 inches and 240 pounds of fast twitch muscle fiber. And I don't want to hear no complaints - I took my Cialis for a reason.
Bitch (meek, weary): Ok...
Andreo: Andreo knows he don't have that size, but that doesn't mean the baby need not to. I want a perenial NBA Defensive Player of the Year, you hear?