Badgered with Ben Algar

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As the illustrious Slim Shady once put it, “They call me Superman, leap tall hoes in a single bound, I’m single now, got no ring on this finger now, I’d never let another chick bring me down, in a relationship. Save it bitch, babysit, you make me sick, Superman ain’t savin’ shit, girl you can jump on Shady’s . . .” oh, okay Slim, that’s enough.

It’s Slim Shady, the man of multiple personas and one issue: the world. We expect such negligent riffs of uncensored rage from the king of MCs. And while Shady’s records, as influencing as his lyrics might be, we’ve yet to find another human being of his caliber.

The same goes for all-star forward Dwight Howard.

As the illustrious Dwight Howard, nicknamed Superman, once put it, “They call me Superman, leap tall hoes in a single bound, I’m single now, got no ring on this finger now, I’d never let another chick bring me down, in a relationship. Save it bitch, babysit, you make me sick, Superman ain’t savin’ shit, girl you can jump on Shady’s . . .” Oops, it seems that I’ve cut and pasted Shady’s lyrics over Howard’s regard for his current team, the Orlando Magic. Yet, even when paraphrased, Howard’s verbal and physical “response,” his desire to be traded, sounds similar to Shady’s contempt for the human race.

Let me bring it back down to earth now. As David Lynch might say, we’re movin’ on from this strange and unproductive thinking.

The matter is clear, it’s simple. Howard wants out of Orlando, Florida. He wants to be disenfranchised from the Orlando Magic. He wants his coach, Jeff Van Gundy, to let go of the dream of a championship helmed by Howard’s impressive post-moves and high-flying dunks. He can feel it coming in the air tonight. A trade is on the horizon like a hand emerging from a cliffside to help up a dangling climber.

But like Desean Jackson, Howard seems to have forgotten that foul play is not how one gets what he wants. Throwing sand while in the sand pit at your friend’s face doesn’t earn you a turn with the toy fire truck. Arriving to work unprepared, pathetically sluggish and sympathy seeking doesn’t earn you the right to get what you want either.

Word to the wise: this man, a working man like the rest of us, has an income that will satisfy his needs for the remainder of his natural life if he gave up playing basketball today, forever. I pay for gasoline with the change I find in-between my dirty magazines and behind the toilet seat. It’s a hard knock life. But for real, this man is taking his job for granted if he feels like he can work, meaning play basketball, like an undirected Tim Burton claymation. And for the record, I pay for gasoline on my platinum express, holla!

Work is fundamentally the core source of most Americans way of life. We work to eat. We eat to stay alive. We stay alive to listen to Slim Shady bitch about his sorry excuse for a wife and watch some six-foot eleven-inch basketball player make a fool of himself as millions of fans watch, disgraced by his richly stale performance. Charles Barkley playing hoops again would make for much better entertainment.

Howard is expected to play champion-level basketball. He is contracted to play a seamless game of catch and shoot with hundreds of other overpaid buffoons, most of whom excel and perform with enthusiasm and passion. It’s bad enough that Howard paints the athlete in a stereotypical light, that of a heartless jock, but he’s making his character seem less heroic and more villainous.

And while it’s fine to option for a trade, something Howard has done repeatedly, it’s unfair to the teammates of Howard to have to deal with his lame-duck syndrome. The NBA has yet to discover Howard’s kryptonite, the agent that’ll bring Howard’s sky-high ego back to earth. Orlando has become accustomed to magnificent game play and outstanding athletic feats, not a Lex Luther show.

Now, I can say a lot about this issue. As one SportsCenter anchor said, Howard is now on the chopping block, but the chopping block wants nothing to do with him. Teams don’t want to bring in some immature dunker with a super-sized ego. What happens when he wants to leave their team? Does everyone have to suffer the Howard show?

No. The answer is simple. Orlando is feeling no love, but they’re not afraid. Howard will swallow the blue pill and move onto a new franchise. He’s already gone. Howard’s new MO: erase me. Howard has become a space oddity. A lame spectacle after harnessing a highly revered reputation as a superstar in the illustrious NBA league.

It’s the time of the season. The trading block is set and cuts are in line to be made. Where will Superman end up? His success depends on how much he’ll accomplish before his golden years. Howard is singing, “Will you still love me tomorrow?”

The league, a sympathetic partner whose never gonna give you up, will respond with a candid, “I’m cleaning out my closet.”

When I’m gone, says Howard, remember me. We’ll all lose sight of the yellow brick road without Superman and his boyish charm. He’s young and wild and free, but for the NBA it’s just another brick in the wall.

 

 

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