VIDEO: Lakers’ Dwight Howard gets booed by Magic fans again in return to Orlando
The former Magic star was booed by the crowd at the Amway Center as he checked into Wednesday night’s game between Orlando and L.A.
Boos for Dwight Howard in Orlando. pic.twitter.com/OgN7kpxRbm
— Dime (@DimeUPROXX) December 12, 2019
Howard — who the Magic selected with the first overall pick in the 2004 NBA Draft — spent his first eight seasons in Orlando, becoming arguably the best center in the NBA.
He won the NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award in three consecutive seasons and was named to the All-NBA First Team in five straight seasons, establishing himself as a dominant two-way threat. Not to mention, Howard still remains the franchise leader in points, rebounds and blocked shots.
However, Howard became increasingly frustrated in Orlando and was enveloped in a strange drama involving former head coach Stan Van Gundy before ultimately demanding a trade (via Josh Robbins of The Athletic):
In December 2011, after an NBA lockout, Howard informed team officials he wanted a trade. The next nine months were the most tumultuous in franchise history, marked by the revelation that Howard had wanted the team to fire popular coach Stan Van Gundy, the team’s desperate efforts to convince Howard to rescind his trade demand and inaccurate rumors that Howard was overstating the severity of a back injury.
The saga became known as “The Dwightmare,” and after the 2011-12 season ended, the team fired Van Gundy and parted ways with general manager Otis Smith. In August 2012, the Magic traded Howard to the Lakers in a four-team deal.
Howard is playing his first game in Orlando in over a year.
Needless to say, fans have not forgotten the saga that caused them to be one of the more forgettable franchises of this past decade.