Dwight Howard upset Magic gave his number away
Dwight Howard sported the number 12 jersey through good and bad in Orlando, as a member of the Magic. When Howard’s reign in Orlando came to an end, the Magic became free to do as they saw fit with good ol’ number 12. They chose to grant Magic forward, Tobias Harris, permission to wear number 12 when he came aboard as part of a trade that sent guard J.J. Reddick to the Milwaukee Bucks.
Harris, who had a breakout season with the Magic after being traded from the Bucks, wears the number 12 as respect to a fallen friend. Harris’ friend died of leukemia at the age of 17, and Harris wears his number as a tribute.
Should the Magic have retired Howard’s number 12? That really seems to be the question. Howard is arguable the most important player to ever wear a Magic jersey, but he also left of the most dysfunctional of terms, and the kicker is, he hasn’t even really show any remorse for his actions.
“I just think that despite whatever happened, there was a lot of things that I did and that we did as a team, and that number was special down there. And I was a little bit upset about that.” Howard said.
“But I have no regrets. I’m happy everything happened the way it happened. Even though I got hurt in the process and I had to go through a tough time, it made me a better person. I’m more mature now. I know how to handle situations different than I did back then.”
Look, we’ve all experienced break-ups, or quit a job. But what Howard did in Orlando was the equivalent to smashing out your exes’ windows, or slashing your former bosses’ tires. There are certain ways that people can choose to handle situations. In this case, Howard, and all involved, made Dwight’s departure as hard as it could possibly be. Not to say that anyone is being let off the hook, here, because there are more people to blame for this whole debacle than just Dwight.
The fact remains though, that Orlando simply doesn’t retire numbers. They haven’t retired Shaquille O’Neal’s number, or Penny Hardaway, or Tracy McGrady’s. It’s just not something they really do. I believe that time heals a lot of wounds. In the case of Dwight Howard, I believe that he did do a lot of great things in Orlando, but as of right now, we recall what he did wrong. Once some time passes, and people let go, I believe the Magic will hang Dwight’s jersey in the rafters.