NBA star Dwight Howard has been blocking shots and dunking over competitors since he made his league debut in 2004. Howard is known for his fun loving personality both off and on the court. Until recently, Howard’s humor and charisma was one of the many things that fans across the world admired about him. Howard’s constant level of silliness really made himself stand out from the majority of NBA players that took themselves too seriously. That off course was until recently…
Dwight Howard who started his career with the Orlando Magic in 2004 became one of the most popular and successful players in the franchise’s history. On many occasions Howard saw himself being compared to Shaquille O’Neal, who also started his career in Orlando. Ever since Howard began speculating free agency back in the 2010-2011 NBA season, his indecisiveness that was displayed during this process, along with his openness to leaving the Magic while still wearing their uniform night in and night out, was seen as childish and unprofessional through the eyes of NBA fans.
It seemed that ever other day for nearly two seasons Howard flipped back and forth between deciding which team he wanted to play for. One day it was the Brooklyn Nets (New Jersey Nets at the time), the next day, Howard verbally favored the Los Angeles Lakers. It would be a week later when he “decided” that Orlando was the city that he wanted to play for. Howard literally tortured his fans with his indecisiveness.
This all escalated when Howard agree to sign an extension with the Orlando Magic during the 2011-2012 season, convincing most of his fans that he was staying. It wasn’t long until word got out that Howard wanted the Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy fired. How did the word get out? Well, Van Gundy said it himself. Howard’s request was met as the Orlando Magic fired Van Gundy after an early bounce from the playoffs. But the situation blew up even further when Howard asked to be traded afterwards. This was met with a negative reaction from the NBA fan base, who criticized Howard for not only the unprofessional-like behavior he showed while handling his free agency, but for playing politics behind the scenes.
Howard’s second request was met as the Orlando Magic dealt him to the Los Angeles Lakers this past off-season. With the Lakers struggling to land a playoff spot, LA fans have grown frustrated with Howard as they blamed his terrible work ethic, along with his child-like behavior for the Lakers performance this season. Howard has been called out on several occasions by Lakers guard Kobe Bryant. Bryant and Howard have gotten into several verbal altercations, as Bryant had grown frustrated with what appears to be a lack of effort on Howard’s part.
It’s hard to believe that a superstar like Dwight Howard who was the top vote getter in the 2010 NBA All Star Game, has become one of the most disliked figures in professional basketball. It seems that his child like innocence that once won him over with the fans, is the very same that is turning them away now. It’s clear that this has had a negative effect on Howard’s public image. Whether or not it will cost him in endorsement deals will remain to be seen. One thing is clear, Howard have better start thinking of ways to rebuild his image before this PR nightmare escalates.
(Note: Photo is from CBSsports official website)
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To say that I’ve always been a big fan of professional wrestling is an understatement. Growing up me and my brothers would stay up every Monday night to catch the latest episode of “WWE Monday Night Raw”. Amateur wrestling, however, has never really been on my list of preferred sports. However, for what it’s worth I do have several anecdotes from my childhood of going toe-toe with my older brother in our “wrestling ring” whenever we decided to settle a dispute (our wrestling ring usually being my mom’s living room).
While not being the most popular sport, wrestling has often held the reputation of being a tough sport. Even though telling stories of getting cauliflower ear, obtaining staph infections or receiving a nice-sized ringworm over night will most likely gross people out; there a certain level of respect that most people have for the sport of wrestling. Although I must at admit, wrestling for the most part can be safe and holds its far share of risks like most other sports. Being one of the oldest sports in the world, it easily made its way to the original modern Olympics in 1896.
The Olympics is seen as world class and prestigious and any professional athlete will consider it an honor to have their respective sport represented in the Olympics. However many wrestlers across the word will not have that luxury by the year 2020. That’s right, earlier this week the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced that it will be dropping wrestling from the Olympic Games in 2020.
(Wrestling is one of the oldest sports in the history of the Olympics. Photo courtesy of telegraph.co.uk)
This has led to a huge uproar on social media sites such as Facebook. Bothered fans retaliated quickly by creating a page titled “Keep Wrestling in the Olympics”. One of the most popular stars in the world of wrestling, Jordan Borroughs, shared his opinion on the issue by rejecting the idea of eliminating wrestling from the Olympics. Borroughs encourage everyone to take into consideration the kids that grew up aspiring to be a wrestler but will never be able to realize their dream of performing on the biggest stage of them all.
The post that Borrough made received thousands of likes, shares and comments from fans who were also stunned by the news. I really like the idea people using social media to allow their voices to be heard. With the masses voicing their opinion on Facebook and Twitter, the IOC may be pressured into reconsidering if the backlash is powerful enough. IOC used their own personal Facebook page to address the negative response by reminding angry fans that wrestling was added to the list of shortlisted sports that will have the chance to become included in the 2020 games by petitioning.
I’m interested in to seeing how well wrestling fans across the world can get their voices out to the public. It’s clear by their actions thus far that social media is an effective media vehicle to reach the masses. I personally wouldn’t mind to see wrestling remain as an event. Beats watching table tennis if you ask me.
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Many professional athletes throughout the country have used social media to promote their brand. While other athletes may use it promote a positive image. From time to time some athletes will social media to interact with fans. Twitter has become very popular social networking site for athletes to use to accomplish these goals. More often than not, professional athletes will simply post a tweet without the intention of actually responding to any comments that they may receive. Every now and then however, you’ll have an interesting situation where may they respond to a comment made by one they’re followers.
NBA superstar Kobe Bryant who plays for the Los Angeles Lakers recently activated a twitter account earlier this year with his very first tweet saying “The antisocial has become social #mambatweets”. Bryant, who was one of the few big-time athletes who was not active on Twitter, finally gave in and it was only a month later when the five-time NBA champion gain over a million followers.
(5-time NBA champion Kobe Bryant driving to the basketball. Photo courtesy of sneakernews.com)
Earlier this week however a fan who was in middle of an heated argument with another one of Bryant’s followers received an unexpected tweet from Bryant himself when he used a homophobic insult directed to the other fan. @PacSmoove, who is a follower of Bryant, tweeted “you’re gay” to another one of Kobe Bryant’s followers. Bryant instantly called out @PacSmoove by tweeting “Just letting you know @PacSmoove @pookeo9 that using “your gay” as a way to put someone down ain’t ok! #notcool delete that out ur vocab”.
It wasn’t long until another one of Bryant’s followers brought an incident that occured last April when Bryant was fined $100,000 for using an anti-gay slur during the game. The Laker all star responded by tweeting “exactly! That wasn’t cool and was ignorant on my part. I own it and learn from it and expect the same from others”.
I support Bryant’s actions 100 percent. Not only did he set a great example here by sticking up for the gay community who are at times mocked and looked down upon by people within the sports world, but I love that fact he even took the time to read the tweets of his followers and even responded to one of them. I personally like the idea of professional athletes taking out more time to actually interact with they’re followers. It makes us feel more appreciated, and it shows that they actually care about their fans. Not a bad PR move in my opinion!

Hello my name is Rodney Cochran. I’ am currently a 4th year student studying at The Ohio State University. I’m majoring in Strategic Communications and minoring in General Business. My career goals aren’t too specific at the moment. I Have experience working with several Non-Profit Organizations and I ultimately would like to work in the field of Public Relations after I graduate next school year.

I was born in raised in Mansfield, Ohio and growing up in a sports home, my love for sports began at a very young age. I’ve been a die-hard Ohio sports fan ever since I was young. I remember following teams such as the Browns, Cavaliers and Buckeyes as a young kid with dreams of one day playing in the NBA. Obviously I wasn’t able to quite obtain that goal but I did however, manage to fall in love with the game of basketball and more specifically, the NBA. 

This blog I will attempt to connect to my audience by creating an environment where we will all be able to share our thoughts and knowledge as it pertains to sports. Through this blog I will keep all of my followers inform on the latest news within the sports world.Even those my expertise strongly falls within the game of basketball, I will make sure try and cover as many sports as I possibly can. I want to keep this blog as broad as possible so that MLB, NFL, NBA, NCAA and even Golf fans can feel connected and engaged. I look forward to sharing my thoughts and opinions on the latest sports buzz, while hearing your’s as well!