What do the counselors always tell the two parties during a divorce?
Don't they always say don't put the kids in the middle of it?
Don't they always say that your first obligation is to making sure you don't hurt the kids?
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Don't they always say protecting the kids is the most important thing?
Somebody must have neglected to tell Dwight Howard all of this during his ugly, self-centered divorce from the Orlando Magic.
Big Daddy Dwight has left town and the children are left wondering why he has split and where has he gone?
"It's absurd that he has let all these kids down," says Joey Kratt, whose 7-year-old son Donovan had registered to go to the Dwight Howard youth basketball camp.
That's right, there will be a Dwight Howard youth basketball camp next week in Orlando except there is one small problem: Dwight Howard won't actually be there. Instead Andrew Nicholson, the Magic's first-round draft pick, will fill in for him. With all due respect to Nicholson, this is like buying tickets to see the E Street Band and Justin Bieber is filling in for Springsteen.
Dwight has apparently decided that he'd rather stay in L.A. for what presumably is the longest rehab in the history of minor back surgery rather than come back to Orlando and honor his obligation to a bunch of kids who were looking forward to hanging out with him for a couple of days.
Once again, Dwight's excuse seems to be that he can't leave L.A. because he is rehabbing his back after an out-patient herniated disk procedure that was done 3 1/2 months ago. He was scheduled to be back with the Magic a few days after having the surgery in April, but he hasn't been seen in Orlando ever since.
Come on, Dwight, you're better than this. We get that you want this divorce from the Magic. We even understand why you want this divorce from the Magic. But don't be duplicitous about it. Disingenuousness devalues everyone – you and the people who have loved you. Don't keep using your back rehab as an excuse for why you have chosen not to come back to Orlando.
Be Dwight Howard.
Not Dwight Coward.
You're healthy enough to attend Dodgers games in L.A. You're healthy enough to attend an AAU basketball tournament in L.A. sponsored by your sneaker company. But you're not healthy enough to come back to Orlando for a day or two, walk around the gym, smile, take some pictures and sign some autographs for the kids?
"My son doesn't even know about the (trade) controversy," Kratt said. "He could care less about the controversy or what team he plays for; he just loves Dwight Howard and has been looking forward to being with him all summer."
Seriously, what is the worst thing that could happen if Dwight were to show up at the youth camp next week? Is he worried that some kids might ask him why he wants to be traded and then start begging him to stay in Orlando? Or that some media members will station themselves outside the gym and pepper him with questions as he walks to his car?
Wow, what an inconvenience
Besides, isn't it about time that Dwight actually showed up and spoke to the fans of Orlando? Not through "multiple sources within in his camp." Not through Ric Bucher and Chris Broussard of ESPN. Not through Twitter or TMZ. But through his own words and in his own voice.
Haven't the fans here at least earned that? Don't the people who have dumped their hearts, souls and disposable income into Dwight for nearly a decade deserve to hear him explain exactly why he is dumping them for another team and another town after all these years?
Over the last four months, Dwight has let down his teammates, let down his fans, let down his coach and now he's let down the kids, too. Who is giving this guy PR advice anyway – Snooki from Jersey Shore?
Sadly, it seems, Dwight Howard is not only doing his best to get traded from Orlando; he's doing his best to be hated in Orlando, too.
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