(By the Gab Four. Originally published Jan. 20, 2012)
Chris: If an entire city is being held hostage, whose responsibility is it to report the crisis? The mayor’s? A city councilperson’s? Anyone who owns keys to the city? Since Dwight Howard has publicly stated his desire to set fire to his Orlando manor in an effort to illustrate to the Magic how serious he is about not wanting to live in their city, I’m unanimous in my opinion that Mickey Mouse and other Orlando residents are being held for a ransom that only the Lakers, Clippers, Mavericks or Nets can pay.
Brad: I think the Magic need to get a move on and make him an offer. Howard wants to be a Laker. So much so that he is willing to sign an extention. I think the Lakers are more interested in Andrew Bynum, but Howard is not a bad choice.
Ralphie: Howard seems to be a nice person. I think it is fine that he wants to change teams. He has done a good job for the Magic. I think he is sad to leave, but sometimes, it’s important to make a change.
Joe: Pay him or trade him--the NBA has created their own problems.
Brad: I think they would have to make him a heck of an offer and make it appeal to him to stay put.
Ralphie: Since he is going to be a free agent, he will get to choose what he does after the summer. He is a good player, so I understand why the Magic wants to keep him. With his option to get out of his contract early, though, they don’t really have a choice about it.
Chris: Howard has revealed that although he pilfered Shaquille O’Neal’s “Superman” nickname, he does not intend to leave Orlando in the same fashion as O’Neal. Rather than abscond as a free agent, Howard would rather the Magic trade him, in order for them to receive party favors in return. Shortly after this was learned, Howard’s agent injected him with rhinoceros tranquilizer.
Ralphie: Howard wants to be a part of a bigger franchise, so I think the Magic would have to get some better players to build their program if they want to keep him. I also think he would like to work with a team where he got to give advice on what the teams’ needs are.
Chris: Orlando’s needs will include finding a better replacement than Felton Spencer.
Brad: Part of me thinks they should be able to pick where they want to play. But the reality is that it is a job. And you don't always get to pick where your job is.
Joe: Howard is his name; basketball is the game: prima donna describes them all.
Chris: In hindsight, Utah taking a preemptive strike and trading their disgruntled star seems like the smartest decision made since McDonald’s decided not to reveal the McRibb’s contents. The Jazz received compensation, New Jersey ransacked their own roster and Deron Williams may or may not have been sending hidden messages from where the Nets are secretly holding him captive. Let me be the first to suggest trading Howard to the highest bidder among the teams not on his wish list or the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
Ralphie: I don’t think they should do anything. I think it’s the player’s choice where they want to play. That’s one of the great things about living in America--we get to make our own choices.
Chris: When thinking about creating my own wish list of places I would tell an employer that I want to work, I’m intrigued to the point of sweating until my clothes could be rung out.
Brad: He is not a bad player, not one of my favorites, but not bad. If he were the only player trying to pick where he wanted to go, then I probably would think he is a bad sport. I think all this trading and free agent business adds an interesting angle to the NBA and other sports, but at the same time it takes away from the sport. Just play on the team who hires you and let's watch some basketball!
Try on a new pair of Sports Briefs with the Gab Four every Friday. Find out more about Joe, Chris, Brad and Ralphie, and read their solo columns on their individual pages.