If you thought the Dwight Howard "All-Star Weekend drama" was over, think again. Howard's troubles for All-Star weekend, festivities to celebrate the players who have played well and more importantly the fans of the NBA with special celebrations and events, began when he decided to mock his own teammate on the Los Angeles Lakers in Kobe Bryant by putting on his jersey in front of fellow teammates in the Western Conference locker room. Now it seems he caught the ire of one of the personalities who was arguably having the most fun that weekend: West team head coach Gregg Popovich.
According to Stephen A. Smith on an interview with ESPN's Mike & Mike in the Morning, Coach Pop wasn't too thrilled with Dwight Howard when he decided to socialize during a timeout on Sunday night. Howard decided to socialize with celebrities on the bench instead of paying attention to Popovich's coaching on a play that was specifically drawn up for Howard. The mild mannered Pop (at least during the All-Star Game) apparently called out Howard for his disrespect, San Antonio Spurs style. Here's an excerpt from the interview from Mike & Mike in the Morning's interview with Smith.
"Let me tell you something right now, Coach Gregg Popovich dropped a few F-Bombs in Dwight Howard's direction during All-Star Break. Now why is that guys? Because, during a timeout, Gregg Popovich drew up a play according to my sources for Dwight Howard in the game. Except, when it was time to run the play, Dwight Howard was not in the game, wasn't paying attention, was on the bench in his warmups chillin out socializing with folks, and Gregg Popovich almost went ballistic and basically was cussing at him according to numerous people that I spoke to"
For those who know Popovich (Spurs fans or not), they knew he's a mild mannered coach who takes the game of basketball seriously. If you remember what Kevin Durant said about Pop's instructions for the All-Star Game, you'd understand why he got upset at Howard.
Durant commented on what Pop told the team before Sunday's game, "He told us to go out and play. But he also said to respect the game."
With Howard's lack of respect toward the game and his coach that night, you can understand why Pop lashed out at Howard. This type of incident shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone who has kept up with Dwight Howard as of late. The once "innocent loveable loser" big man in Orlando has quickly turned into the egotistical immature guy who wants things done his way and his way only. It seems Howard's reputation has taken a huge hit once Stan Van Gundy let everyone know how the true Howard was and everyone in his way since has felt his ego's punch.
This has to be disturbing news for Dwight Howard, especially as he's going to be a free agent this summer. As a player now known to be throwing his teammates and coaches under the bus, it'll be interesting to see who wants to deal with him. Spurs fans have been known to say Pop tends to control egos well but if Pop can't control Howard, what other coach will want to put his career on the line by having him on their team?
However, in the end, this has not been confirmed so take it for what it is worth Spurs fans.