x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 January 2018

Dwight Howard decision only delays inevitable drama

Because the talented centre's contract with Orlando runs out at the end of next season, we get to do this all over again.

And now for the NBA's laugh of the day: Dwight Howard revealing he will not opt out of his contract with the Orlando Magic at the end of the season because - wait for it - he is too loyal. "That's just who I am," he said.

That would be the loyal guy who, before the season, warned the Magic he would leave as a free agent if they did not trade him.

He had career goals that included championships and huge marketing plans. It was the biggest story in the NBA this season. Or, as it turned out, non-story.

"I'm glad that's finally over," Howard said. Except, of course, it is not even remotely over. The melodrama has simply been given an extra one-year run: because his contract runs out at the end of next season, we get to do this all over again. That loyal guy failed to mention anything about extending his contract with the Magic.

But then, he does tend to change his mind. He is indisputably talented and unquestionably the best centre on the planet, but his maturity level is still on the developmental side.

Fearing the vilification that accompanied "The Decision" by LeBron James to leave Cleveland for Miami, Howard waffled. And waffled some more.

But Howard is rather like James, after all, simply by making such a mess of everything. He does not know what he wants. He wants to play in a big market, wants to play with another superstar, he wants to be the main man, he wants to stay in Orlando.

Who knew being loyal was so confusing?