[Orlando, FL] It has been a turbulent year for superstar center Dwight Howard, currently playing for the Orlando Magic.
Yes, currently. With that March 15 deadline fast approaching, the most wanted man in America could be traded to another team any day now.
Of course, the Magic could hold onto Dwight through the end of the season and end up hoping that he stays (unlikely) and watch him and all of his trade value vanish to another city.
Two Miami Heat players – and also announced All-starters – forward LeBron James (1,360,680 votes) and guard Dwyane Wade (1,334,223 votes) weren’t far behind.
Dwight Howard‘s start in the 2012 NBA All-Star Game will be his fifth consecutive and his sixth appearance in the NBA All-Star Game overall.
Dwyane Wade will play alongside Dwight Howard
HOWARD THE DUNK
Of course, that feather in his professional basketball cap only increases Howard’s market value. Making this all even more interesting is that the All-Star game takes place in Orlando on Feb. 26 at the team’s brand new Amway Center – otherwise known as the House That Dwight Howard Built.
Now D-12 can tear that place down with a monstrous dunk and hoist a giant-sized middle finger to the Magic’s die-hard fans who have supported him throughout his entire NBA career.
Howard is upset with the team’s management and ownership, who has repeatedly dropped the ball in efforts to build a championship line-up around Howard’s freakishly unique talents.
Howard is not mad at the fans, it should be noted. But that hasn’t stopped the smattering of boos from reaching Howard’s ears during home games, especially when he misses free throws (which is quite often).
Cleveland Cavaliers fans went through the same thing when LeBron James jumped ship and headed for the Miami Heat in an over-publicized signing with South Florida’s squad. And of course, many Magic fans still remember the Shaquille O’Neal debacle that saw the original Big Fella bolt town for the Los Angeles Lakers, leaving the team in shambles and without hope.
That is until Dwight Howard came along. But now he is leaving too, possibly to the same Lakers that rode Shaq’s back to multiple championships.
Maybe the Orlando and Cleveland fans can start a support group.
BACK TO THE ALL-STAR GAME
The 2012 NBA All-Star Game will air live at 8 p.m. ET on TNT in the U.S. The game will be broadcast in more than 40 different languages and shown in more than 200 countries and territories.
Meet your starting line-ups (coaches have yet to be determined):
Eastern Conference: forwards Carmelo Anthony (New York) and LeBron James (Miami); center Dwight Howard (Orlando); guards Derrick Rose (Chicago) and Dwyane Wade (Miami).
Western Conference: forwards Blake Griffin (L.A. Clippers) and Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City); center Andrew Bynum (L.A. Lakers); guards Kobe Bryant (L.A. Lakers) and Chris Paul (L.A. Clippers).
As you can see, the two Los Angeles teams dominate the Western Conference starters.
2012 NBA ALL-STAR BALLOTING PRESENTED BY SPRINT FINAL VOTE COUNTS
Forwards: LeBron James (Mia) 1,360,680; Carmelo Anthony (NYK) 1,041,290; Amar’e Stoudemire (NYK) 383,734; Kevin Garnett (Bos) 367,914; Chris Bosh (Mia) 324,605; Luol Deng (Chi) 276,205; Paul Pierce (Bos) 215,020; Carlos Boozer (Chi) 175,828; Andrea Bargnani (Tor) 152,362; Josh Smith (Atl) 119,638.
Guards: Derrick Rose (Chi) 1,514,723; Dwyane Wade (Mia) 1,334,223; Rajon Rondo (Bos) 547,110; Ray Allen (Bos) 382,147; Deron Williams (NJN) 208,697; Jose Calderon (Tor) 132,167; Richard Hamilton (Chi) 111,368; John Wall (Was) 96,606; Kyrie Irving (Cle) 96,346; Joe Johnson (Atl) 66,145.
Centers: Dwight Howard (Orl) 1,600,390; Joakim Noah (Chi) 236,497; Tyson Chandler (NYK) 163,077; Joel Anthony (Mia) 101,307; JaVale McGee (Was) 63,765; Al Horford (Atl) 50,396.
Forwards: Kevin Durant (OKC) 1,345,566; Blake Griffin (LAC) 876,451; Pau Gasol (LAL) 470,353; Dirk Nowitzki (Dal) 468,435; Kevin Love (Min) 373,880; LaMarcus Aldridge (Por) 279,500; Tim Duncan (SA) 185,069; Lamar Odom (Dal) 142,830; Danilo Gallinari (Den) 110,245; Rudy Gay (Mem) 95,228.
Guards: Kobe Bryant (LAL) 1,555,479; Chris Paul (LAC) 1,138,743; Ricky Rubio (Min) 397,456; Steve Nash (Pho) 276,268; Russell Westbrook (OKC) 262,186; Kyle Lowry (Hou) 185,584; Monta Ellis (GS) 156,603; Chauncey Billups (LAC) 120,961; Jason Kidd (Dal) 114,924; Manu Ginobili (SA) 111,273.
Centers: Andrew Bynum (LAL) 1,051,945; DeAndre Jordan (LAC) 322,056; Marc Gasol (Mem) 285,525; Nenê (Den) 207,102; Marcin Gortat (Pho) 136,168; Kendrick Perkins (OKC) 99,811.
By: Mark Christopher/Sunshine Slate
Lead photo: Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images