Maybe because it hasn’t been programmed in to our guide channels, or maybe because I have completely devoted my entire being to not caring about this at all, but Dwight Howard is allegedly choosing one of his suitors today in the finale of “The Bachelor,” and it feels like that has gone a bit under the radar. As such, everyone needs to be prepared for when he makes the choice to join whichever team will hurt his reputation most, as that seems to be the guiding principal behind most of his public decisions these days.
That’s why I’ve created a simple guide for dealing with whatever choice Dwight Howard may make today, even if there is a very real possibility that he holds a press conference where he says he needs more time to decide/more Shock Tarts to sway his choice. It’s based on the Kübler-Ross model and I think you’ll find that it’s very effective.
1. Denial — “I refuse to care about what Dwight Howard does.”
As a bro who came in to the summer deciding not to worry about any Dwight Howard rumors until he signs his megadeal, this is where I’m trying to stay throughout the whole process. I know the likelihood of skipping straight from Denial to Acceptance is pretty low, but I’d love for that to happen. Nonetheless, I feel like ignoring all the stupidity surrounding this — the Lakers billboards, the days full of meetings where he wanted to be courted like a high schooler taking a recruiting trip, the fact that this is legitimately being called “Dwightmare II” like it’s no big deal that being a total derpface has a sequel — is the way to go.
However, I have unfortunately clicked on some links and learned some things, which leads us to…
2. Anger — “Ugh. Can you believe this guy? What a juicebag.”
I’m not exactly sure how the conversion works, but it kind of feels like if you’ve opened three or more Dwight Howard free agency links, this is the stage you’re in. Because seriously, after everything Dwight Howard has been a part of in the past two seasons, reading things like him wanting to see billboards and meet celebrities, that choosing a team is like picking a toy for him, or that this team no this team no wait that team no actually this team is in the lead for his services is just infuriating. Can’t anything just happen with Dwight Howard, without it being a huge thing? Gargoyles, my blood is boiling just typing this.
3. Bargaining — “Now that he’s signed, we don’t have to go through this again for another five years.”
This isn’t your grandfather’s bargaining stage. No, this is a flip, wherein we acknowledge that one of the NBA’s best players changing teams in his prime is a big deal, while also keeping in mind that this same guy has made a huge production about any contract decision he has encountered, which therefore lends us a sense of relief as we assume that we’re done with this until this contact is ready to expire. This is actually a pretty solid stage, but it’s short-lived, which is why I’m warning you in advance.
4. Depression — “Oh wait, this is Dwight Howard we’re talking about. It’ll be something else within the first month of the season.”
Remember when Dwight Howard was one of the most popular players in the NBA and it always seemed like he was doing something zany to win over fans? Since 2011, his life has been just like that, except the complete opposite. It might seem like we’ve spent two years leading up to this decision, and that everything will calm down once Dwight makes his choice, but be careful because I think we all know and can agree that Dwight Howard doesn’t do a very good job of staying out of the news. I don’t know if he’ll end up complaining about not being 100 percent healthy again, the fans being mean to him or that “Cars” got two sequels before “Finding Nemo” got one, but it’s guaranteed to be something. And that is depressing.
5. Acceptance — “Dwight signed with the _________. Neat.”
This is exactly what we are striving for, you guys. To read the news or see the tweets or however we’re going to find out about this thing, then just realize that Dwight Howard’s free agency is over and that he has a team to play for. After that, everything is gravy. You can talk about his fit with the team, their odds of winning a championship, what they can do to build around their star center — basically anything, because at least you’re talking about basketball and not trying to guess which team is going to make a 7-foot tall 5-year-old like them the most.
Like I said, I’ve tried my best to stay in the Denial phase, hoping to go straight to Acceptance once Dwight announces who he’ll be playing for next year. But I’ve clicked some links. I have. And that’s pushed me pretty close to Anger, though I’ve really tried to stay not caring about things. But it all ends today, maybe, and I’m really counting on getting my Acceptance game on. Anything else and I can’t be held accountable for my actions.