×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

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

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.

More Voices

  • Tom Hanks Mr Rogers A BEAUTIFUL

    Tom Hanks' Portrayal of Mister Rogers May Put Him Back in Oscar's 'Neighborhood'

    Sony recently hosted a SAG-AFTRA screening of “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” the Marielle Heller-directed drama starring Matthew Rhys as a magazine writer who befriends Fred Rogers, played by Tom Hanks. While the screening didn’t include a guild Q&A with cast or the film’s creative team, the audience was greeted with a video message from [...]

  • Joe Pesci, Al Pacino, Martin Scorsese,

    Martin Scorsese and 'The Irishman' Enter Oscar Race With World Premiere at NYFF

    Even with its three-hour run time and a short 28 days in theaters before it’s available on Netflix, Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman” is likely to be a major contender at the Oscars. The 57th New York Film Festival opened on Friday night with the world premiere of the epic real-life mob drama. Scorsese and his [...]

  • Brad Pitt Once Upon a Time

    How Much Does Hitting the Awards Season Circuit Really Matter to Stars Like Brad Pitt?

    “Do you want an Oscar?” That’s the first question one top awards consultant asks any potential contender when they first start talking. Everyone is wondering how Brad Pitt would answer that question these days. He recently raised eyebrows and made headlines when he proclaimed that he would not be campaigning this awards season. “Oh, man. I’m [...]

  • Renee Zellweger'Judy' film premiere, Arrivals, Samuel

    'Judy's' L.A. Premiere: Renée Zellweger Takes Another Ruby Step Toward the Oscars

    Renée Zellweger continues to follow the yellow brick road to the Oscars. The Los Angeles premiere of Judy on Thursday night in Beverly Hills kept the Academy Award winner on track for a possible second win come February. “We’re just so happy we’re able to share it with you tonight,” Zellweger said to the crowd [...]

  • Barry Bill Hader

    Emmys 2019: Clear Favorites and Top Challengers for This Year's Winners (Column)

    If this felt like the longest, most expensive Emmy campaign in history, you might be right. For one thing, the 2019 Primetime Emmys will be held Sept. 22, which is the latest the ceremony has taken place since 2013. That also happened to be the last year of TV’s quaint, pre-streaming era, before outlets like [...]

  • Fleabag Succession Emmys

    Could 'Fleabag' and 'Succession' Be Spoilers on Emmy Night? (Column)

    At the onset, this year’s Emmy Awards felt a bit anticlimactic, as the final seasons of “Game of Thrones” and “Veep” appeared to have this year’s drama and comedy categories locked up before campaigning even began. But that’s how upsets happen: Just when we’re pretty confident about how things might go, a couple of wild [...]

  • Climate Mobilization

    Marshall Herskovitz: Why the Climate Crisis Needs Movie Marketing-Style Muscle

     I’ve lived inside the climate-communications conundrum for 20 years, working with scientists, academics and activists to find ways to convince Americans that something they couldn’t see or feel was nevertheless a looming catastrophe worth upending their lives to fight. Now the climate crisis is undeniable, and we are finally seeing the beginnings of concerted action. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content