Deconstructing Dwight Howard: A Musical Free Agency Analysis


Back when iTunes was all the rage, they used to publish celebrity playlists - a "what's on Kate Hudson's iPod?"-type feature. A while ago, one of our esteemed editors tweeted something that reminded me about this little feature:

"Escape" is not only the song of Dwightmare II, but it has just the right amount of ego and tortured history to be one Dwight Howard would listen to frequently. "You can run, you can hide, but you can't escape my love?" Perfection.

As Mavericks fans, I suppose we (are required to) have slightly more than a passing interest in Dwight Howard's thoughts and feelings these days. So, what other types of songs would Dwight be listening to this summer? Songs about rage or confusion? Power anthems about believing in yourself? So glad you asked. I delved into his listening history, so you don't have to.

OneRepublic, "Everybody Loves Me"

OneRepublic "Everybody Loves Me" (iHeartRadio Live Series) (via iHeartRadio i)

Oh my, feels just like I don't try
Look so good I might die
All I know is everybody loves me
Head down, swaying to my own sound
Flashes in my face now
All I know is everybody loves me

Dallas! Houston! Atlanta! Lakers! Clippers! All Dwight is going to see at first are the headlines: "Team X wants me but might not be able to afford me." "Team Y can get me but only in a sign-and-trade." "Team Z might be interested in me AND Chris Paul?! Wow. That would be cool, I should text that dude." (Bonus cut to CP3's voicemail after the news of this weekend, with Dwight's Carly Rae Jepsen-fueled "Call Me, maybe?" messages going interestingly unanswered.)

Who cares about playing well or where the best fit would be when you can just sit back and let teams fight over you? This is the beginning of free agency, likely representing the height of Howard's ego and vanity.

Kanye West, "Can't Tell Me Nothing"

Kanye West - Can't Tell Me Nothing (via KanyeWestVEVO)

I had a dream I can buy my way to heaven
When I awoke, I spent that on a necklace.
I told God I'd be back in a second,
Man it's so hard not to act reckless.
To whom much is given much is tested.
Get arrested, guess until, they get the message.
I feel the pressure, under more scrutiny,
And what I do? Act more stupidly.

But, we don't call it Dwightmare II for nothing. The media hype intensifies when no decision is made in the first week of free agency. Dwight's doubts start to set in. The pressure is getting to him...

"What if I want to go play for a team that no one's talking about. I should get to pick whatever I want right? What if I decide I want to go to Brooklyn again! Yeah! Or, what's that team with the cool new name. Pelicans or something? Or, hey, the Kings colors are nice!"

Considering his illustrious history of indecision, any or all of these statements or stories in the early days of free agency would not surprise me at all.

fun., "Some Nights"

Fun.: Some Nights [OFFICIAL VIDEO] (via Fueled By Ramen)

I was never one to believe the hype
Save that for the black and white
I try twice as hard and I'm half as liked,
But here they come again to jack my style...

Well, some nights I wish that this all would end
'Cause I could use some friends for a change.
And some nights I'm scared you'll forget me again
Some nights I always win, I always win...

Oh, don't shake your head at me, you know Dwight has this song on repeat from time to time. I can totally see him during week three of free agency sitting in a darkened room, ignoring repeated calls from his agent, staring into the distance, and lamenting that he just wants to be loved and feel like he belongs somewhere...but where?

Drake, "Over My Dead Body"

Drake - Over My Dead Body (via ninjaz1102)

And I don't ever be trippin off of what ain't mine
And I be hearing the sh*t you say through the grapevine
But jealousy is just love and hate at the same time
Yeah, it's been that way from the beginning
I just been playing, I ain't even notice I was winning
And this is the only sound you should fear...

Just a guess, but I bet Dwight would listen to a lot of Drake. In fact, the cover of Take Care is what I imagine Dwight looks like when he's not playing basketball: rich, forlorn and searching for an answer. "Over My Dead Body" is probably the perfect song here, because as Ghostface Killah so eloquently put it in his (NSFW) review, "A forreal....this sounds like the soundtrack to some Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants type sh*t son."

And then, just when you think it doesn't get any better, we get Drake proclaiming himself NBA media and doing shots out of his Grammy and "ruminat[ing] on what it means and what's next."

Ah, the height of tripping off fame while still being confused about it. Let's get these two a reality show already.

Kelly Clarkson, "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)"

Kelly Clarkson - Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You) (via kellyclarksonVEVO)

You heard that I was starting over with someone new
They told you I was moving on over you
You didn't think that I'd come back
I'd come back swinging
You try to break me, but you see
What doesn't kill you makes you stronger
Stand a little taller
Doesn't mean I'm lonely when I'm alone

Dwight is definitely going to need some inspirational "girl power"-type anthem in regular rotation. It's the song he listens to during bursts of confidence, when he gets over his complaint of the day and decides to give the middle finger to the reporter/front office/fan base making his life "miserable" that day. Or when he thinks he's made a decision on what team to sign with. (Except he hasn't made that decision even if he thinks he has - let's be real there.)

Cue Kelly Clarkson. Always Kelly Clarkson for those moments. Turn her up and sing it loud.

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