FAN REACTION TO WORST OF NBA OFFSEASON
Clippers.com Insider Eric Patten conducted an informal poll via Twitter to gauge fan opinion of what teams had the worst offseason. Not surprisingly a lot of the results had to do with Dwight Howard.
Note: As a follow up to my Worst of the Offseason feature (Click Here), I compiled Tweets from readers who responded to the question: “What teams had the worst offseason? Why?” Responders were restricted to one team from the East and one from the West.
The exercise of choosing the best and worst of the offseason had a common theme: a certain former Defensive Player of the Year who is still recovering from surgery on his lower back.
It’s somewhat amazing how much Dwight Howard and the subsequent trade that sent him to the Lakers has swayed public perception of all four teams involved in the deal as well as several others who were part of the fallout.
The Lakers, Nuggets, and 76ers were among the teams most often cited by fans on Twitter Friday as having the best offseason. And two days later when I posed the question, what teams had the worst offseason; the answer was overwhelmingly the Orlando Magic, Howard’s former team.
One fan who responded (@scarface333dg) in choosing the Magic asked, “Do I even need to explain why?” Frankly, there was not much of an explanation needed.
However, the Magic were not the only team mentioned in the East. Another fan (@J_Dub23_1) suggested the Cavaliers because they allegedly had a chance to acquire Andrew Bynum and failed. The Bynum acquisition, of course, would have come as part of a mega trade involving Howard. While the Bucks, Pistons, Knicks, and Bobcats were also brought up in the East, opinion about the West was relegated mostly to another team that appeared to strike out in the Dwight Howard Derby.
The Rockets actually garnered as much overall negativity as the Magic. As one Clippers’ season ticket holder (@JBD30) said, “Houston def in the West because they went all in for DH12 (Howard) and ended up with [Omer] Asik and [Jeremy] Lin.” Fans felt the Rockets overpaid Lin, stockpiled too many forwards, and effectively wasted everyone’s time.
Other teams in the West that drew the ire of fans were Phoenix, for not landing O.J. Mayo or former Clipper Eric Gordon; Memphis, for not improving; and San Antonio, for “getting older.” The Mavericks were mentioned second most behind the Rockets among Western Conference teams as fans suggested that regardless of how the Mavs rebounded, signing a host of capable veterans to short-term contracts, their inability to lock up Dallas native Deron Williams proved too futile to overlook.
Here are some more reader comments from Twitter:
@ericpatten East-Orlando(do I need to explain why?). West-Memphis(did they even do anything in the offseason?)
— David Gutierrez (@scarface333dg) August 26, 2012
— Russell Barton (@RLB1968CA1) August 26, 2012
@ericpatten suns-lost nash, lost out on Gordon/Mayo, Hou- no upgrades and lost Lowery
— Matt Tate (@A_NewLookRaider) August 26, 2012
@ericpatten this is a good one. Mavs in the west (lost Kidd, Terry, Dirk only getting older), but Im stumped in the east. Maybe Knicks (Lin)
— Zack Porter (@z0rter) August 27, 2012
@ericpatten I didn't see Milwaukee doing anything over the summer and Dallas were atrocious, losing some big pieces and not replacing any
— Mozef (@Mozef_DoubleA) August 27, 2012
@ericpatten Houston. Went all in for Howard & left empty handed. Orlando. You're telling me that was the BEST they could get?
— Tyler Kump (@Tykump) August 27, 2012
@ericpatten HOU, didn't get DH. CLE, could have stolen Bynum.
— Johnny Walker (@J_Dub23_1) August 27, 2012
@ericpatten Orlando and Houston. BOTH because of Dwight Howard.
— Shea Mirzai (@Shea_Butter) August 27, 2012
@ericpatten HOU and ORL have had the worst offseason cause the have made teams for players they haven't got. DH and Bynum are the example.
— Los Clippers (@ClippersSpain) August 27, 2012
@ericpatten bobcats.. Didn't get Davis... Didn't improve team that much.& rockets. Didn't land Howard & absurdLast year $ for Lin & osik
— G (@Sikboy66) August 28, 2012