When the Orlando Magic lost in the first round of this year’s playoffs, everyone but Skeets was pretty surprised that a team who had made an NBA Finals just two years earlier was being eliminated that early by a team that was the Atlanta Hawks. It’s not that the Hawks aren’t a good team, it’s just that the Magic seem like they should have been a way better team, considering they’re a way better team. It was just a little surprising.

And it must have hurt, to go from a team that was once considered a championship contender to fall in the first round to a team that once had a coach who had to shave his eyebrows as motivation. That’s a bit of a drop-off, which is probably why Dwight Howard wouldn’t even watch the Finals. From Basketsession, as translated by HoopsHype:

“I didn’t watch none of the finals. I didn’t watch any game. I was upset about the whole thing and I just couldn’t watch. I got away from the game and just relaxed. I went to a secluded island and just laid on the beach and did pushups twice a day (laughter).

It’s not quite Dirk Nowitzki going on a walkabout, getting trashed and playing guitar with his basketball/life coach, but it’s something. Dwight Howard definitely cares about basketball, which is one of the criticisms you hear about him way too often. A little show-offy to be doing pushups on the beach when even the bones in your body are made of muscles, but I’m willing to let it slide.

But even though he didn’t watch, Dwight’s still OK with the Mavericks winning. He respects his elders.

I’m happy for Dirk Nowitzky, and I’m happy for Jason Kidd. He’s been playing for 68 years and he finally has a title (laughter). I’m also happy for Mark Cuban and the whole Dallas organization.”

Well, that is a nice sentiment. Dwight Howard seems pretty nice. (Another criticism, but whatevs.) Pretty nice Jason Kidd zinger too, so it’s good to see that he’s keeping his mind in shape, just like his body. It is like I always say when I am paraphrasing GI Joe: “Knowing is half the battle, and an Angelina Jolie movie.” That is a metaphor about jokes.

With Dwight’s impending free agency, this is going to be a hugely important season for the Magic. He’s said that if they want to keep him, they need to make significant steps toward winning a championship. That’s going to require just as much from Dwight as it is from the team, so it’s good to see that he’s upset enough about losing that he was disgusted by watching basketball. If he’s anything like post-2007 Dirk, he’ll come back extra determined to push his team towards a title. I think you kind of have to take this as good news. Angry Dwight is good Dwight, after all.

(via SLAM)