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Dwight Howard denies using “blackmail term; forgets he controls his own message.

2012 July 2
by Brian Serra

In what continues to be one of the most prolonged and putrid public relation campaign of all time, Dwight Howard continues to miss the shot. Jarrod Rudolph of RealGM caught up with Howard, who wanted to set the story straight on the “blackmail” and his disdain for the use of “sources”.

“I never used the word ‘blackmail’ in reference to any of my dealings with the Magic,” Howard told RealGM. “And I never said the Magic blackmailed me.”

Maybe Dwight did NOT use the word “blackmail”. Maybe, just maybe, Chris Broussard or his direct source from the NBAPA took some artistic license with the term. Let’s just say – for the sake of trying to balance the story a little bit – that Dwight didn’t say they blackmailed him.

Dwight had an open statement and a chance to set up anything he wanted to and to steer the narrative in any direction that he wanted to. Did he use the outlet of RealGM to paint himself in a better light? To say that he is being played and misunderstood? No. He used it to attack reporters and their uses of “sources”.

“I’m tired of reporters using ‘sources’ to print inaccurate and defamatory stories about me,” said Howard to RealGM. “It is past time for these reporters to quote their sources. Especially since what is being printed is not true and damages my reputation every day.”

Really Dwight? This is what you want to express to the legion of fans and “haters” out in the world as you try to become a global superstar? You broke your silence to attack  reporters for not using their sources?

Newsflash to the common fan: sources don’t talk on the record. If they do, they are fired. If they do, they are no longer sources who provide information. If they do, the rumor mill that fans love so much? Yeah, that would be gone and you would be living in the riveting world of team press releases.

But let’s get back to the point. Dwight CONTINUES to forget the most important rule of PR – HE CONTROLS THE MESSAGE. You don’t like the story about you? Change the story! You don’t like people saying bad things about you? Attacking the reporters spreading that message is likely not going to change that story.

Howard never denied going to the NBAPA in an effort to get his contract voiced. He never committed to Orlando, the team he played with for ONE more month after opting-in for his final year. He never denied that he wants to be traded. He never denies being continually disgruntled with the Orlando Magic franchise. The only thing he denied was using the phrase “blackmail”. Putting all the pieces together, it’s tough to side with Dwight on this one and to paint him as innocent.

He had a forum to change the message, and he delivered the same “woe is me” line we’ve heard over and over again.

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