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Dwight Howard’s return to Orlando marked with scathing column, amusing video


On Tuesday, March 12, Dwight Howard will make his much-anticipated return to the city of Orlando to take the court at the Amway Center as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers. A nightmare 2011-12 season filled with speculation, conjecture and controversy ultimately led to the Magic dealing the apparently disgruntled center to the Lakers on Aug. 10, 2012 and fans likely circled the date on the calendar when Howard would come back as a differently uniformed enemy as soon as the NBA schedule was released.

As part of the buildup to what certainly will be a potentially toxic scene that will in all likelihood culminate with boos raining down upon Howard as he steps on the hardwood, the Orlando Sentinel’s Mike Bianchi penned a scathing commentary that speaks on behalf of all Magic fans felt wronged by the center’s antics and ultimate exodus out of Florida.

Published in the paper on Thursday, “Dwight Howard has alienated everybody he ever knew in Orlando: He owes entire city an apology,” Bianchi takes Howard to task for all the things he — and a majority of Magic fans — believe Howard did wrong and the manner in which he treated the organization, his teammates and the city of Orlando with profound disrespect.

Perhaps no passage in the column encompasses better the antipathy felt towards Howard by Magic fans than how Bianchi closes the piece. Discussing Howard’s recent comments in which he stated that, “My team in Orlando was a team full of people who nobody wanted,” and Howard’s subsequent defense of his statements, Bianchi writes as follows:

Dwight Howard owes everybody in this city an apology.

The fans, the kids, Van Gundy, Otis Smith and a Magic organization that did everything it could to make him happy.

Mostly, though, he owes his former teammates an apology.

To elaborate on Jameer’s eloquent assessment of his former best friend:

When are you, Dwight, as a man, going to stand up and take ownership of all the harm you’ve done and all the people you’ve hurt?

Along with Bianchi’s screed, the Orlando Sentinel also created a video to “honor” Dwight Howard’s impending return. Produced by Rich Pope, Sean Pitts and Todd Stewart with vocals by Len Xiang, Jamaal K. Solomon and Don Hawkins, the video featured animated versions of Magic players singing a parody version of Cee Lo Green’s “Forget You.”