One of the biggest questions heading into the NBA off-season was, "where will Dwight Howard end up?" Fans got their answer late Friday night when Howard signed with the Houston Rockets, instead of the Los Angeles Lakers, and then things devolved into a a bunch of grown men behaving like dumb babies.
After a lengthy campaign to land him, with the help of some local legends, Howard informed the LA front office he was taking his talents to Houston for the 2013-2014 season on Friday night. USA Today's Sam Amick was the first to report the Rockets will pay Howard upwards of $88 million over the next four years. It was a joyous time for Howard! Look at all that money! But, feeling spurned after a personal plea to stay in LA, Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol quickly turned on their former teammate (who they never really liked anyway) and started passive aggressively kicking him out the door.
Bryant was by far the worst offender. He uploaded a picture of himself embracing Gasol to Instagram within minutes of Howard announcing he was leaving LA. The captions accompanying the photo translate to "let's go," "together," and "Laker heart." Bryant also unfollowed Howard on Twitter. Gasol also unfollowed Howard on Twitter, though only briefly. After a few people started pointing out Gasol did the same thing as Kobe, he quickly re-followed his former teammate.
Howard joined the LA Lakers last year. With the help of Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, and Steve Nash, the team was a pre-season favorite to win their division and challenge the Miami Heat for a title. Well, that's not how things played out on the court. Howard struggled in LA. He never meshed with Bryant or the city and, heading into the off-season as a free agent, his return to the yellow and gold was an uncertainty.
Passive aggressively unfollowing someone on Twitter because you're mad at them? What is this, the school dance? Someone better tell Dwight that Becky's mad at him for talking to Veronica, even after Becky kissed Vance last week, before things get out of hand. It's amazing to know that these grown men who are payed millions of dollars to play professional sports are as mature as a group of sixteen-year-olds. And this isn't to say Howard behaved like an adult through this whole process, too. He quickly changed his Twitter profile picture to him wearing a Rockets jersey and his location to Houston while his background still had him in Laker colors.
That said, that we can watch them behave this petulantly in real time, on the Internet, is a brilliant argument for social media's necessity. The future is great. It's totally fine that we don't have flying cars. This is even better.