Early this morning Dwight Howard was detained by security at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston. Why? He had a loaded handgun in his carry-on bag. Once it was detected, Howard was detained and he admitted the handgun was his. Officials allowed him to give the handgun to an associate and Howard proceeded onto his flight but not without the question of why? Why did he have a handgun in the bottom of his carry-on when he knew the carry-on was subject to inspection. The purpose of security is isolating passengers stupid or crazy enough to try to board a plane with a loaded handgun. It’s not as if Howard is not experienced with flying and the rules.
Once again, the question of why persists.
Character, they say, is what you do when no one is paying attention. When no one is paying attention Howard puts a gun in his carry-on. Either it was a mistake and he doesn’t check the bags he is carrying onto the plane. Or, it wasn’t a mistake and he was willing to take his chances because, after all, he’s Dwight Howard and athletes can get away with things other people can’t. Or, the third option. Howard wants everyone to know he carries a handgun with him on airplanes. He imagines that is going to change the impression he has already created in his eleven year career. Sorry bro, that ship has sailed.
Howard’s missteps are plentiful. Let’s count. 1. He opts-in his contract, loses money for himself even though he wants to opt-out. 2. A few months later he has back surgery and then demands a trade because the Magic top dogs were mysteriously absent when he was his most vulnerable and his feelings are hurt. 3. He knew the Lakers had the assets to trade for him but he doesn’t automatically say hell no, I won’t go there. Having already experienced Kobe Bryant in the Olympics, Howard was self aware. Kobe’s level of maniacal dedication was more than his fun loving heart could take. Plus Kobe was unwilling to give the reins over without a dog fight and Howard doesn’t like fighting. 4. Howard expected/wanted the Lakers to amnesty Bryant.
Howard recently said that James Harden is the best left handed player in NBA history which shows he doesn’t know much about NBA history when Bill Russell of the 11 titles is considered, by Dwight Howard, second.
But what got Howard really agitated was what happened late last week. Stephen A. Smith of ESPN recounted on his morning show, First Take, a story about Howard’s influence. It was the regurgitated Dwight Howard is-not-Shaquille-O’Neal narrative. The story involved Kobe Bryant’s repaired relationship with Shaquille O’Neal. According to Smith, what healed the relationship with Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal was Bryant himself. When Bryant realized his shiny new teammate Dwight Howard wasn’t the player or teammate or force Shaquille O’Neal was he was instantly repentant. Bryant poured his heart out in gratitude to O’Neal for being the dominant, tough, aggressive competitor that he was, something he appreciated after dealing with Howard’s constant whining and complaining. The story Smith told, private information made public, supported the narrative that Howard was weak. Similar to when Kevin Durant in street clothes called Howard a p***** from the bench.
None of that goes away because you have a gun in a carry-on bag. The gun makes you seem stupid, like you were not thinking at all. And it also makes you privileged. Because ordinary citizen big black guy who wasn’t a NBA player would be facing charges instead of given a slap on the wrist.
photo via llananba