You don’t have to be alive very long to understand the history of the situation. Superstar rises to fame and fortune. Everyone loves and admires him. Superstar has falling out with team/coach/teammate/city and is trashed publicly. Nothing he can do can change his new image except winning fans and critics back by…duh, winning.
Think about the circumstances surrounding Kobe Bryant and LeBron James. Different backdrops, but similar fallout. From adored and praised to hated and everything they do questioned.
Kobe had to overcome “running off Shaq” and couldn’t do that until he won a championship without him proving he could actually do it without him. LeBron burned a city, and a country questioned his heart and character, and even his ability to win, and he couldn’t redeem himself until he won a title.
There are always going to being bumps in the road. The better you are, the more critics you’ll have. But if you do something blatant like leaving your team or calling out your coach, then you better make sure to live up to the hype we created about you afterward if you want it to go away.
That is the challenge now for guys like Carmelo Anthony, and Dwight Howard. You complained, and you got your way. Now it’s time to deliver. We’re waiting.
Dwight Howard probably wishes for more peaceful times like in 2008, before the Finals, before the pressure and expectations, back when he was just a happy kid winning slam dunk contests and being regarded as the best defensive player in the NBA. Like Kobe and LeBron did, he is going through some miserable times. It seems like everyone is out to get him and no matter what he says he is the bad guy. If he does well, he is supposed to, if he doesn’t, he’s a failure, he’s a wimp, or he’s not trying.
There is only one way to silence the critics: win. You’ll never win them all back. There are still people who despise Kobe and LeBron but the majority showers them with positivity and now look back at those missteps as obstacles overcome. It is all a bit melodramatic, but it is the obvious pattern established. Dwight Howard won’t be lovable again until he wins a title, and does it with a big smile on his face.