BIANCHI: Dwight Howard is the best player to start a franchise

There are 14 comments on the Feb 19, 2009, Orlando Sentinel story titled BIANCHI: Dwight Howard is the best player to start a franchise. In it, Orlando Sentinel reports that:

Leave it to my colleague David "Benedict" Whitley to traitorously disagree with an earlier blog I wrote, turn his back on hometown superstar Dwight Howard and choose LeBron James as the player he would build ...

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Orlando Sentinel.

Jimmy

Orlando, FL

#1 Feb 20, 2009
This dueling columnist bit is getting very old, fast.
Matthew Abaddon

Cocoa, FL

#2 Feb 20, 2009
Jimmy wrote:
This dueling columnist bit is getting very old, fast.
I second this
Bob Sacamano

Cocoa, FL

#3 Feb 20, 2009
Jimmy wrote:
This dueling columnist bit is getting very old, fast.
I third this
Weezel

New York, NY

#4 Feb 20, 2009
Fourth.

Especially two bad columnists.
Classmore

Penticton, Canada

#5 Feb 20, 2009
I can see what you're saying about Dwight 'Lurch' Howard. I totally do. And historically, a big mans' importance cannot be denied. But LeBron is just too much. I think it's unfair for you to proclaim that most GM's would take Howard over James; on what basis is that assumption made on? Do you personally know every GM (or even some) to indicate that they would indeed take Howard over him? Didn't think so. Unfortunately, you are an extremely biased reporter defending his stance against another extremely biased reporter. Unfortunately for you, the other extremely biased reporter happens to be right. I'm not the hugest fan of either, so therefore, I bring objectivity to this argument.

What's going to happen when Orlando is down by two, and the other team intentionally fouls him? Make the free throws in clutch time? Hahaha, Nope!
I know, I know, "but Shaq this and Shaq that". But what you are negating is that Shaq has never one without another star player either. Also, Jordan won 6 without a dominate big man...

LeBron is too versatile and too much of a match-up nightmare at pretty much any position, that he is undeniably more valuable than Lurch- right now and in the future.
The Living Tribunal

Hialeah, FL

#6 Feb 20, 2009
Classmore wrote:
I can see what you're saying about Dwight 'Lurch' Howard. I totally do. And historically, a big mans' importance cannot be denied. But LeBron is just too much. I think it's unfair for you to proclaim that most GM's would take Howard over James; on what basis is that assumption made on? Do you personally know every GM (or even some) to indicate that they would indeed take Howard over him? Didn't think so. Unfortunately, you are an extremely biased reporter defending his stance against another extremely biased reporter. Unfortunately for you, the other extremely biased reporter happens to be right. I'm not the hugest fan of either, so therefore, I bring objectivity to this argument.
What's going to happen when Orlando is down by two, and the other team intentionally fouls him? Make the free throws in clutch time? Hahaha, Nope!
I know, I know, "but Shaq this and Shaq that". But what you are negating is that Shaq has never one without another star player either. Also, Jordan won 6 without a dominate big man...
LeBron is too versatile and too much of a match-up nightmare at pretty much any position, that he is undeniably more valuable than Lurch- right now and in the future.
Yeah Jordan didn't win with a dominant big man, but he did have 2 Hall of Fame All-Stars in Pippen and Rodman and even Horace Grant and not to mention arguably the greatest coach in NBA history Phil Jackson. You cannot compare Lebron to Jordan, ever. Totally different players and Lebron will NEVER have the impact Jordan had. He's not reliable in the clutch and he has a very bad outside shot, too streaky. Yeah he gets his points but he has to jack up 30 shots to get them. He's versatile but at one point he's just going to be a Karl Malone type player because of his size. The one thing Lebron has going for him is the fact that he's so young and there's a lot of time for improvement. Historically, great centers and power forwards are more successful. Shaq carried the Magic, Heat, and Lakers to the Finals. Kobe has only done it once, but I doubt he would have made it without Gasol. Big men usually have longer careers too and that's why Dwight would be the better choice for starting a franchise in my opinion. In the playoffs, it all comes down to defense and rebounding. Jordan was an anomole, there will never be another.
kenny

Auburn, WA

#7 Feb 20, 2009
The Living Tribunal wrote:
<quoted text>
Yeah Jordan didn't win with a dominant big man, but he did have 2 Hall of Fame All-Stars in Pippen and Rodman and even Horace Grant and not to mention arguably the greatest coach in NBA history Phil Jackson. You cannot compare Lebron to Jordan, ever. Totally different players and Lebron will NEVER have the impact Jordan had. He's not reliable in the clutch and he has a very bad outside shot, too streaky. Yeah he gets his points but he has to jack up 30 shots to get them. He's versatile but at one point he's just going to be a Karl Malone type player because of his size. The one thing Lebron has going for him is the fact that he's so young and there's a lot of time for improvement. Historically, great centers and power forwards are more successful. Shaq carried the Magic, Heat, and Lakers to the Finals. Kobe has only done it once, but I doubt he would have made it without Gasol. Big men usually have longer careers too and that's why Dwight would be the better choice for starting a franchise in my opinion. In the playoffs, it all comes down to defense and rebounding. Jordan was an anomole, there will never be another.
really, he has to jack up 30 shots to get his points? is that why he shoots 20 times per game to score 28-30? please, he shoots 50% from the field, and that is with a streaky jumper...i agree with everything else you said though

and detroit had a DECENT big man, but the keys were rip, chauncey and tashaun...and tim duncan wouldnt have won without manu, and tony parker, along with shaq wouldnt have won without penny, kobe or d wade...
Chris

Orange Park, FL

#8 Feb 20, 2009
I think it's pretty simple. People can give a ton of reason why this player or that player BUT just ask yourself which TYPE of player is harder to find?? Your answer would be Dwight Howard hands down. Kobe, Lebron, Wade, Etc. all of them give you about the same thing and conciquently look at what all of those players are in need of right now?? A DOMINANT BIG MAN. Look at the Spurs they never had a Kobe or Lebron like player but they had a nice collection of role players that fit nicely with Duncan. It's not even a debate with folks who truly know basketball.....
kenny

Auburn, WA

#9 Feb 20, 2009
Chris wrote:
I think it's pretty simple. People can give a ton of reason why this player or that player BUT just ask yourself which TYPE of player is harder to find?? Your answer would be Dwight Howard hands down. Kobe, Lebron, Wade, Etc. all of them give you about the same thing and conciquently look at what all of those players are in need of right now?? A DOMINANT BIG MAN. Look at the Spurs they never had a Kobe or Lebron like player but they had a nice collection of role players that fit nicely with Duncan. It's not even a debate with folks who truly know basketball.....
actually, if you watch the cavs, they are in need of another 17ppg scorer, they dont need a dominant big man...dont talk about what you dont know...
nanningbob

San Francisco, CA

#10 Feb 20, 2009
Chris wrote:
I think it's pretty simple. People can give a ton of reason why this player or that player BUT just ask yourself which TYPE of player is harder to find?? Your answer would be Dwight Howard hands down. Kobe, Lebron, Wade, Etc. all of them give you about the same thing and conciquently look at what all of those players are in need of right now?? A DOMINANT BIG MAN. Look at the Spurs they never had a Kobe or Lebron like player but they had a nice collection of role players that fit nicely with Duncan. It's not even a debate with folks who truly know basketball.....
I agree, great points. Jordan had two of the best defensive PF on his championship teams. What gets lost in all the arguments is Grant and the Worm were the best defensive PF in the league at the time. Without them he never went. The reason the Cavs are going to have a very difficult time making it to the finals again is having strong interior defense and rebounding. Detroit had it with both of their championship teams and so did Boston, Lakers, etc, etc. You cant win a title without it. So you start with the big man in the middle if you can find one. There are always great guards and forwards who can score but the defensive giant in the middle is the hardest piece find for a championship team. Sorry Kenny, you will never win this argument.
nanningbob

San Francisco, CA

#11 Feb 20, 2009
kenny wrote:
<quoted text>
actually, if you watch the cavs, they are in need of another 17ppg scorer, they dont need a dominant big man...dont talk about what you dont know...
What do you mean they dont. They desperately need a big man. That is why they chased Shaq. But even if they got Shaq they still would have the same problem. Their frontline is too slow to keep up with the Magic. Until you solve that problem the Cavs will never get the title. They need one good quick defender under that basket yet. With Phoenix going high tempo again will Shaq ever make it across the half court line????
kenny

Auburn, WA

#12 Feb 20, 2009
nanningbob wrote:
<quoted text>
What do you mean they dont. They desperately need a big man. That is why they chased Shaq. But even if they got Shaq they still would have the same problem. Their frontline is too slow to keep up with the Magic. Until you solve that problem the Cavs will never get the title. They need one good quick defender under that basket yet. With Phoenix going high tempo again will Shaq ever make it across the half court line????
ive seen every game...the cavs need another consistant scoring option...they dont need another big man, they got pretty good ones already
Classmore

Penticton, Canada

#13 Feb 20, 2009
I think it's perfectly legit to compare LeBron to Jordan. Yes, they are different players, but LeBron is the greatest player in history for his age. I think that in itself is enough to compare him to Jordan. I'm not saying he will be greater (although I think he might be), but if an anomaly can happen once it will happen again. LeBron is a winner. In pretty much every other case you would be right about Howard and needing a big man. But this is LeBron... I also don't like how people say it's harder to find a Howard than a LeBron. What is that supposed to mean? I also don't think it's fair to say Kobe, Wade, LeBron as if they are all the same. I think people don't realize how special and ahead of his time the King is. Once he finds a consistent jumper, then what will any of you critics say?? You simply won't be able to stop the guy. With Lurch, you can just double him or foul him and he's screwed. Orlando is a sick team, but in the playoffs they don't stand a chance against the Cavs in a 7 game series- especially in the fourth quarter.
The Living Tribunal

Hialeah, FL

#14 Feb 23, 2009
Classmore wrote:
I think it's perfectly legit to compare LeBron to Jordan. Yes, they are different players, but LeBron is the greatest player in history for his age. I think that in itself is enough to compare him to Jordan. I'm not saying he will be greater (although I think he might be), but if an anomaly can happen once it will happen again. LeBron is a winner. In pretty much every other case you would be right about Howard and needing a big man. But this is LeBron... I also don't like how people say it's harder to find a Howard than a LeBron. What is that supposed to mean? I also don't think it's fair to say Kobe, Wade, LeBron as if they are all the same. I think people don't realize how special and ahead of his time the King is. Once he finds a consistent jumper, then what will any of you critics say?? You simply won't be able to stop the guy. With Lurch, you can just double him or foul him and he's screwed. Orlando is a sick team, but in the playoffs they don't stand a chance against the Cavs in a 7 game series- especially in the fourth quarter.
Sorry, Magic Johnson was better than Lebron at his age, he has a ring to prove it.

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