Leaving L.A. for Houston? Dwight Howard’s Misguided Media Move

Dwight Howard Lakers TV Time Warner

The Lakers center might not be seeing the big picture in leaving L.A. to become a Rocket

Dwight Howard made a lousy decision, and not just because Houston is one of those rare cities with a downtown area that’s even uglier than L.A.’s.

No, Howard’s choice to bolt the Los Angeles Lakers for the Houston Rockets shows a decided lack of foresight for a center with a magnetic personality, good looks and scads of media potential, one who has already grappled with injuries and should be thinking more about his post-basketball future.

Unless Howard has a burning desire to go into the oil business, he would seem to be cutting himself off from a Hollywood establishment that has opened the door in the past to Laker stars, particularly centers. Who could forget Wilt Chamberlain in “Conan the Barbarian,” Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in “Airplane” or Shaquille O’Neal in, um, oh let’s just go with “Steel” to be nice about things.

Howard already came to L.A. with a theatrical flair, complete with his nickname (“Superman”) and showboating antics at the slam-dunk competition, where he preened by wearing a cape and stuffing the ball on a 12-foot basket.

The bottom line is NBA stars have fleeting careers, and the smart ones are invariably being counseled to contemplate life once they have to start wearing long pants. And while it’s not true for everyone, Howard might be one of those players who winds up leaving money on the table, long term, by snagging his big-bucks deal with the Rockets now, and putting 1,500 miles between himself and all those agents and studio moguls sitting courtside in Staples Center, telling people they know Jack Nicholson. Small wonder Time Warner Cable and the prospect of a TV show reportedly became part of the Lakers’ bid to woo him.

Granted, nobody will need to hold any bake sales for Howard either way, but for many pro athletes, the years they spend in the league are essentially a launchpad for what might come next. (By the way, don’t say this is about a burning desire to win championships. Anybody that committed to titles would teach himself to become a better freethrow shooter.)

Instead of thinking that way, Superman and his brain trust have opted for the instant green, and the sweltering red-state confines of Texas, where he at least knows he’ll be more articulate than the governor. Here’s hoping Howard’s latest pivot move works out for him, but frankly, that lack of vision just might turn out to be his Kryptonite.

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  1. carlos says:

    The writer is giving an opinion from the business perspective. Howard had more of a chance of becoming greater in L.A…the city of angels is one of the most famous cities in the world where the exposure is greater than any other city because of the entertainment industry…that’s a no brainer. But i’m glad he left because he sucks. Like shaq said howard could not handle the bright lights and decided to go to a little town. There is no comparison between both cities. If you wanna retire and wanna live a chill life then you move to houston.

  2. tlthomas77 says:

    Sounds like someone is throwing a temper tantrum. Nonny, nonny, boo boo.

  3. k mills says:

    Most of this article sounds like one of those extreme left liberal wackadoos. Have you even been to downtown Houston? I use to work there and it’s surrounded by green belts trees and parks and attractive glass skyscrapers, several sports facilities, restaurants, theatres,music halls and much more. And, most of downtown Houston occurs below street level in the tunnels…I’ll bet you didn’t know that there are several miles of tunnels connecting all the big buildings with shops and restaurants everywhere. And, you think this overgrown thyroid case is smarter than the Governor….that’s direct from the Democrat play book. Grow up, shut up, and get over the sour grapes. Houston is everything LA wishes it were. Leaving LA for Houston is not a difficult choice…I did it and remain happy with my decisiion.

  4. Have you completely forgotten about Houston’s ties to the Chinese market? (Lisanity and Yao Ming) Forget LA, this move could turn Howard into a global superstar.

  5. Eli says:

    Clearly not all decisions are based on money. The guy hated it here.

  6. Nice Article says:

    So Howard doen’t want to win a ring,as anyone can tell by his FT%, use this as an excuse to leave LA but will regret this because obviously this move will hurt his acting career, which he clearly is keen to pursue given the fact he was wearing a cape at a slam dunk contest. Dear Variety, i sincerely hope you are not paying the author of this article.

  7. Chris Ross says:

    Good article. This Dwightmare saga still hasn’t ended I don’t think. It’s not going to be all sunshines and rainbows with the Rockets as he thought it would be with the Lakers. These things don’t magically work out. Nevertheless, this is the right decision for him from a bball stand point and it will be interesting to watch this team grow with Dwight Howard along for the ride.

    http://chrisross91.wordpress.com/2013/07/05/executive-of-the-year/

  8. mhdena says:

    They are about a year late in offering Hollywood opportunities

    Get real

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