Everyone Should Lay off the Dwight Howard Hate

Back in July of 2010, it seemed like no one could possibly dethrone LeBron James as America’s most hated basketball player.

Not only did he spurn Cleveland on national television for everyone to see, but he also helped host a Miami Heat welcome party celebrating the union of himself, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. The trio was celebrating victory before ever stepping on the court together.

James’ struggles in the 2011 NBA Finals and the subsequent Miami loss only fueled the fire for all the “LeBron haters.”

But fast forward to 2012, and Dwight Howard has done the impossible.

His constant waffling back-and-forth between wanting to stay with the Orlando Magic and his requests to be traded and for his head coach Stan Van Gundy to be fired have left quite the sour taste in fans’ mouths.

One day, he wants to be traded to the Brooklyn Nets. The next day, he decides he wants to stay in Orlando. The next, he wants Van Gundy gone. Then he opts in for one more year with the Magic.

At least James made a decision and stuck with it instead of dragging out a soap opera for an entire season.

Howard was clearly trying to be liked by as many people as possible. He admitted so in a recent interview with ESPN’s Ric Bucher when he said, "I never wanted anybody to hate me, you know. I wanted everybody to love me, you know, like me, for sticking around and doing what they wanted me to do. And making everybody else happy.”

A lot of fans are annoyed at Howard’s indecision, and rightfully so.

But annoyance is exactly where the feelings should stop.

Anyone who calls Howard a jerk or claims to hate him is crossing the line.

All any standard fan knows about Howard is that he made some really big mistakes.

None of them know his day-to-day personality, his true off-court behavior or anything else that makes up Dwight How...

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