I'm beginning to think Dwight Howard saga in Orlando is being written by Craig Thomas and Carter Bays, the showrunners of the CBS sitcom “How I Met Your Mother.”
For those of you who happen to be both hardcore NBA and HIMYM fans, this analogy may already make perfect sense. But for those of you wondering what the hell a CBS sitcom has to do with an NBA center, allow me to explain:
(Note: This section contains spoilers. So if you aren't caught up through season 7 of HIMYM and plan to watch someday…skip down to “Spoilers End Here.” But if you don't plan on ever watching it and simply want to know if I can actually coherently pull this off…read on.)
If you can't comprehend based on the title of the show, HIMYM is an (extremely) elongated story of a father (Ted Mosby, played by Josh Radnor) telling his children how he met their mother. As such, the show is heavily serialized. And when you're producing 22-24 episodes per year of a serialized show with a concrete endpoint for seven years, there is a narrative necessity for red herrings.
Carter and Bays' favorite form of red herring is the mentioning of or the flashforwarding to a future event, usually accompanied by the narrator (Bob Saget) saying “…but we'll get to that later.” Given the context of the show, the plot device makes perfect sens,e and for the first four or five seasons the flashforwards and teases worked as a fun rewards system for loyal fans. Most of the time they involved small plot reveals, cute hints about the mother's personality and silly gags that get context in a future story.
However, as with most running gags on television, the constant chain yanking grew stale by the end of season five. Completely oblivious to fan dissatisfaction (or thumbing their noses at it), Carter and Bays went all in with the flashforward gags in the season six premiere, making the entire series predicate on Ted meeting the Mother at a wedding set sometime in the future where Ted is the best man.
This is where the Howard comparisons come into play. The overarching wedding tease over the past two seasons of HIMYM almost perfectly mirror Dwight Howard's 2011-12 campaign.
On Dec. 12, reports broke that Howard wanted out of Orlando and that since-fired GM Otis Smith would move the center if the “right deal” came.
In the ninth episode of the aforementioned sixth season, Punchy, Ted's best friend from high school, asks him to be the best man in his wedding.
As the 2011-12 NBA season and the sixth season of HIMYM progressed, most fans sat idly by thinking, “Okay, cool. Now we know what's going to happen, so let's just sit back, pop a couple kernels and enjoy the ride.
Then we all got f***ing Shyamalan'd.
In what I'm assuming was a reaction to CBS' two-season renewal, Carter and Bays decided to pull the rug on the audience and reveal that Ted meets the Mother at Barney's (Neil Patrick Harris) wedding (BUT ZOMGGG TO WHO???), not Punchy's. Similarly, in what I'm assuming was a reaction to being called an a-hole for four months, Howard decided on March 16 to waive his opt-out clause and (theoretically) return to Orlando next season.
And ever since the Howard/Bays/Carter trio decided to twist the knife into their fans backs, we've been subjected to months of world class wheel spinning. The 24-episode seventh season of HIMYM revealed exactly zero revelations before the finale, where we learned Marshall (Jason Segel) and Lily's (Alyson Hannigan) first child's name is Marvin WaitForIt Erickson (admittedly awesome), and that Barney is marrying Robin(Cobie Smulders) — something we figured out a long time ago.
But, hey, since Carter and Bays revealed who is getting married means they're finally pushing the narrative forward, right? Wait…who is Quinn (Becki Newton)? And why are we building an entire episode around Barney proposing to her? And why is Ted riding off into the sunset with Victoria (Ashley Williams) as the season concludes?
At least the Howard situation is under control, though. Opting into the final year of his contract was obviously a sign to Magic management that if the team fires coach Stan Van Gundy and general manager Otis Smith that he would give the new regime a full year to improve.
Or it could mean that he wants out of Orlando more than ever.
You get it by now. It seems as if the HIMYM writers and Howard are content to make us ride this perpetual pinwheel of emptiness and infuriation. HIMYM is coming off of its highest-rated season, so Carter and Bays could theoretically stretch the wedding storyline for another two years. And Howard's storyline will dominate all NBA offseason coverage until Magic CEO Alex Martins works up the courage to ship the superstar out of town.
Unlike Bays/Carter/Howard, I'm ready for the damn band-aid already. Carter and Bays need to introduce the Mother to the main cast and Howard needs to publicly state his desire to leave Orlando.
(Spoilers End Here)
But unlike the HIMYM saga, there is end in sight for Dwight in Orlando. Allen Iverson has a better chance of winning the 2013 NBA MVP than Dwight Howard does of playing center for the Magic again. The only question that remains is to where and for whom.
Since I've already gone completely off the rails and turned what was supposed to be a short intro into a 900-word pop culture diatribe, I'm not going to waste everyone's time giving you the obvious. The two favorites to land Howard are the Brooklyn Nets and Los Angeles Lakers. We know this.
But what are some semi-realistic sleeper teams that make better basketball fits? And what would it take for those teams to acquire Howard?
Let's take a look…
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Michael T Carr May 16th
Another good article, Craig Lowell.
Charlie Lobosco May 1st
This is a very compelling story because Mr. Collins is a very passionate, tough, intelligent, athelete taking on some additional responsibliity to help others as…
Scott Cohen May 1st
Charlie.. very well said.. he does have guts
Scott Cohen May 1st
but it shouldn’t require guts. .like you said it’s nobody’s business but his own
Hisham Zameeth April 30th
best player ever…..
Kareem Musa Mayowa April 29th
We don’t need to be hopeless about the situation bryant his. Because even david villa situation also up to the level of his own to…
Maritess Lim April 28th
I still believe in KOBE’s power…… He is still the best…… He will make it possible no matter what……
mimi_aragon84 April 28th
I feel no pity for him. First of all, it is EAGLE, COLORADO, not Eagleton, secondly he enjoyed success and adulation from fans from 2003…
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