In 2010, the sports world turned on LeBron James following his "The Decision" fiasco. Not learning much from the situation, Dwight Howard drew the ire of NBA fans with his "Indecision" in 2012 when he left the Magic for the Lakers, and then the following summer when he bolted Los Angeles for Houston.
Speaking about the fans' perception of him going into this season, Dwight realizes he's not the most popular player, and feels like "an even bigger villain" this year than he was last season. He also talks about the parallels between him and LeBron, and felt personally redeemed when Miami won the title.
“Last year, I felt like I was the villain,” Howard said. “Now, I feel like I’m an even bigger villain.” [...] Howard wants to take James’ and the Miami Heat’s title, but confesses to finding comfort in the redemption of the best player on the planet. For Howard, another scorned star, James’ redemption represents the light in the distance.
“He got hated for a lot of reasons,” Howard said. “I was really, really happy when LeBron finally won. I was unhappy that it wasn’t me up there, but I was glad to see him get through that whole thing. I knew exactly how he felt. People putting you down, saying bad things about your character, who you are as a person. It doesn’t sit well with you. When you go out on the court, you want to show them, ‘Hey, this isn’t who I am.’ Here’s a guy who’s a great basketball player. He did something that was for him, and he did it in front of the whole world. I realized then that our issues, our problems, our flaws are out there for the world to see. You can’t run from it. We have to learn from our mistakes and move forward.”
Basically, Dwight needs to take a page out of James' book and shut up and win. If he can keep his foot out of his mouth for awhile, and the Rockets can start amassing some Ws then people will begin to forget about how grating it was watching him flip back-and-forth between where he wanted to play.