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Magic owner tried to warn Dwight Howard about loyalty

The Washington Wizards is Dwight Howard’s fourth team in four years. Despite being considered as an elite center, Howard is no longer the indispensable cornerstone star he once was with the Orlando Magic. Team owner Richard DeVos appears to know exactly why this came to be, and even explained it to the world — more than five years ago.

DeVos’ old quote was unearthed by Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel in his recent piece which discussed the extraordinary circumstances of Howard’s career.

“Dwight is in a good place [in Orlando], and when you’re young, sometimes you don’t realize that,” DeVos said at the time. “The loyalty you develop in a community is always remembered. But if you leave, you don’t pick it up in the next town. It’s not an add-on — because you lose what you had. Maybe you gain some new [love], but maybe you don’t. Maybe the net gain isn’t as good as you think.”

Years before Howard started bouncing from team to team on a yearly basis, his former employer seemed to already have a full understanding of the big man’s mentality. DeVos seemed to imply that loyalty is not one of Howard’s strong suits.

In the NBA, as in life in general, you get what you give. If what DeVos is saying is true, then perhaps Howard’s more recent employers only reciprocated the same amount of loyalty to him as he had for the teams. Based on how the 32-year-old has moved from city to city in recent years, it is obvious that there was very little loyalty from both parties.

This is a very interesting take on Howard and his current conundrum. Nonetheless, he has a fresh opportunity in Washington to prove his dedication and worth. If all goes well, then perhaps we will be seeing Howard in a Wizards uniform again next season.