Dwight Howard likes to be talked about. He likes to be noticed. He likes it when he is the center of attention. Don't get me wrong, he's a pretty talented individual, and he can play basketball really well, but this constant, "Me me me guys, look at me. Is anyone talking about me now? What about now? I'm interesting, I'm important" thing is just too much. People used to like Dwight Howard. He was a fun-loving guy who smiled a lot and jumped around and did impressions and dunked hard and drank milk and wore capes and stuff. He was basically the basketball equivalent of Brian Spaeth.
Well, he's becoming Hannah from the HBO show Girls.
Maybe you haven't watched Girls, and that would be fine. Plenty of people don't like it. Lots of others do. That's the subject for TV writers, and there are very enjoyable things out there on these here internets to read about that. The basic plotline is that Lena Dunham's character, Hannah (somewhat autobiographical, somewhat fictional, I guess), gets cut off by her parents because she hasn't found a job, and she graduated college to be a "writer," and she has nothing more than a few journal entries and narcissistic "essays" to show for it.
After drinking opium in the first episode, she goes to her parents, shows up with like a dozen typed pages and asks for $1100 a month for two years to write her book. She also says something along the lines of "I don't want to freak you out, but I think that I may be the voice of my generation." No lack of confidence there despite not proving anything.
Here are four quotes, I want you to play a game and pick which ones are from Dwight Howard and which are from Hannah.
- "I just want someone who wants to hang out all the time, thinks I'm the best person in the world."
- "It's a great feeling, though, to be wanted."
- "Think about what's going to be best for what I want to accomplish in my life. And I don't want that door to close on me."
- "I need to learn what it's like to be treated well before it's too late for me."
I bet you thought it would be a bit easier than that. Well, Dwight said Nos. 2 and 3, Hannah comes in with Nos. 1 and 4.
It's not that Hannah isn't talented; by all accounts, she is quippy, she has wit, she has a voice, even though she isn't willing to put in the work to actually sit down and write. She thinks she needs to live before she can say anything. I get that. I'm a writer, too, and not a very good one.
She's stuck -- as are a lot of people in their 20s, Dwight Howard included -- and she creates this emotional turmoil to subjectively place the blame for all of her problems. If she can oversimplify it or identify some kind of cosmic imbalance making everything around her harder than it is, then she has an excuse. And excuses are everything. They make everything neat and tidy.
Fast forward through nine more episodes, and all of her friends think she only cares about herself, so much so that her roommate, Marnie, (who pays all the bills because Hannah still doesn't have a job) decides to move out after a big fight. Here is the basic transcript:
Marnie: I pay all the bills in this apartment, doesn't that give me like one night off from talking about you and your problems? As it happens, I'm not always in the mood to talk about you.
Hannah: Okay, wow.
Marnie: I didn't even want to go into this, but you push me, like you push everyone about everything.
Hannah: I push everyone?
Marnie: Why do you always eat all my yogurt ? [...] don't look at me like I just said something awful because I really didn't.
Hannah: You think we only talk about my problems, like why do you think that?
Marnie: Because we do.
Marnie: You're so selfish, this is why you have no friends from pre-school.
Hannah: I have a lot of friends from pre-school, I'm just not speaking to them right now.
Marnie: You judge everyone, and yet you ask them not to judge you.
Hannah: That is because no one could ever hate me as much as I hate myself, okay, so any mean thing someone's gonna think of to say about me, I've probably said about me, to me, in the last half hour.
Marnie: I like being around people who know what they want. I can't take you anymore. You think everyone in the world is out to humiliate you.
Dwight Howard seems like a good guy. But he can't make a decision.
He wants to be traded. That's no secret. He does. He wants to play for someone else, even though Orlando has bent over backwards to take care of him and give him what he wants. And he changes his mind -- constantly -- every time it seems as though they have it figured out, he wants to be somewhere else, or he wants to stay with Orlando, or he wants to play for Brooklyn or New York or with the Monstars, or he wants to be a rodeo clown.
He's selfish, and he's a bit immature. And that's okay because he gets to play basketball for a living, and everyone is different, and he's 26, and I'm 25, and I'm writing a blog article comparing a basketball player to a television character. Context is everything.
That said, it shouldn't surprise Dwight Howard or anyone else that after enough of this, people start to tune you out. They don't take you seriously, the rhetoric becomes too much to bear, and only action can make it all matter.
Raise your hand if you are sick of Dwight Howard trade rumors. Or reports that Dwight Howard won't play/re-sign with a specific team. Or that Dwight Howard wasn't able to pick a flavor of frozen yogurt when he went to Pinkberry.
Now those of you who watch Girls, raise your hand if you're sick of Hannah. If you prefer scenes where you don't have Hannah in an echo chamber. If you just want to shake her and tell her to just write already instead of pulling together some 100-word joke of a "piece" that she wrote on a subway for a prose reading because she thought her other work was too trite and trivial.
Stop talking and do something.
Yeah, Dwight Howard is a character from Girls. Season one of that show is over, and we get a much-needed reprieve, although season two has already been greenlit. Dwight Howard's newest season has already begun. Unfortunately for all of us, there's no discernible end in sight.