Today in the Sentinel: Interactive graphic entitled "Please don't go, Dwight"
Fan launches website called staydwight.com
Bianchi runs off at the typewriter begging Dwight to stay in Orlando.
I dunno. It just strikes me as so...so...
Can we stop with the begging? If Dwight wants to leave, he will leave. Begging won't change that. We've been down this road before. What will keep Dwight here is a combination of things such as continued potential for winning, Dwight's ties to the area and financial factors.
In L.A., nobody begs stars to either come or stay. It is expected. Same with Boston. And as long as Pat Riley is in Miami, same there.
Our community (read: fans) needs to adopt the mentality of Orlando's ownership and front office, which is that this organization doesn't plead for banners. Rather, it plans and spends in a continuous effort to take them by force. Surprisingly few franchises think this way. Ours does. Think what you want about the results, but it wasn't for lack of effort or motivation that Orlando failed to move forward this year. The team that was put together didn't work. So, BVW and the team go back to the drawing board and try again.
This is what Dwight needs to know: that this city expects to win, will pay whatever price to win, will build the world's finest arena to facilitate winning, and will not be satisfied with just one championship. That's what a champion needs to hear. Not "pretty please". But "We're all in, and we want you because you're the best".
Atlanta is rolling, but during the season their fans cheered opposing teams. We're not like that. Orlando, for now, is a one-horse town when it comes to sports. We can be naive, at times, because we lack that pedigree; that legacy of champion towns. But we are faithful to a fault (I hear you screaming: yes there are exceptions in our fan base, but they are the exceptions).
Some have said we were spoiled by our luck with the ping pong balls too early in our history, here. I say Orlando got those balls because it was meant for NBA greatness. Those early picks stirred a fan base into action almost out of the gates. That's the Midas touch. I think this is a destination for great players because Orlando has all the ingredients to become a perennial contender in the NBA. That is why Howard should stay.
Howard should stay because he built the Amway Center, because he is not Shaquille O'Neil, because he can be the foundation of a franchise built on winning every year.
I don't want Howard to play in Orlando because leaving would make us all grieve. I want Howard to play in Orlando because this is where winners come to win.
That's my attitude and I'm sticking with it.