Tuesday night, the Los Angeles Lakers travel to Orlando for their first game in O-Town since that big guy forced his way out of the Magic Kingdom. No, not Shaquille O’Neal, dummy. That happened forever ago. We’re talking about Dwight Howard, who dominated for the Magic, embarrassed the Magic, re-upped with the Magic and then forced the Magic to trade him. Remember?
Anyways, now that Dwight has apologized to the city and made everything 100 percent OK, the only thing to wonder is what his teammates are feeling as they get ready to enter a hostile Amway Arena. And for a measured approach to this monumental occasion, naturally, we turn to Metta World Peace. From ESPN:
“I don’t really care, because I’m going to Disney World,” he said. “We’re getting in early. I don’t care. I’m going to go on these rides. I’m going let the fans do what they do, that’s their problem. I’m going to have the Mickey Mouse ears, all that. Watch me. You don’t believe me, just watch.”
First of all, killer Trinidad James reference. Very on-trend. Second of all, I believe him. This is a guy who did a television interview in his underwear, owns a tiny race car and once looked like this for a Media Day photo shoot — why wouldn’t he go to Disney World, but some Mickey ears and ride rides? That seems exactly like something he’d do. I’d even buy it if he is trying to say he’d play the game in Mickey ears, which is something I also believe is within the realm of possibilities. This is Metta World Peace, you guys. Never doubt him.
Oh, and if you’re wondering if Kobe Bryant is being sympathetic to Dwight’s plight … well, I’m sure you know the answer to that question. From ProBasketballTalk:
Bryant seemed incredulous when told that Howard said his return on Tuesday would be “emotional,” and laughed off the idea while providing his teammate with some words of wisdom in advance of the team’s visit.
“Emotional?! I’ll talk to him,” Bryant said, while seeming a bit exasperated. “Just go out there and bust they ass. Show them what they’re missing.”
This was followed by big laughs all around, because it was clear by Bryant’s expression that he couldn’t relate at all to that sentiment.
“Save the emotional s— for when you retire,” he added.
[...]“It may be tough for him,” Bryant said. “He’s a very, very nice kid. He wants to say the right things and please as many people as he can. You can’t please everybody, and I’ll talk to him about it a little bit before we get down to Orlando and try to put a little of that a–hole in him for the game.”
So Metta World Peace is going to Disney World and Kobe Bryant can’t believe Dwight would be emotional about returning to the place where he played basketball from 18-26 — some things never change.