Blog Entry

Should Howard's 16th tech cost him MVP votes?

Posted on: March 5, 2011 1:57 pm
Edited on: March 7, 2011 5:47 pm
Posted by Royce Young

Against the Bulls Friday night, Dwight Howard was hit with his 16th technical foul of the season. He got it for raising his elbows after a hard foul and it's most likely it won't be rescinded.

With that being the case, Howard is facing a one-game suspension for his number of technicals and then every two techs he gets from now on, will result in a suspension.

Howard's temperament has become a kind of odd kryptonite for him as he presents himself as the jolly, fun-loving big guy off the court but on it, seems to grow more frustrated with officials than Bobby Knight at a little league game. A lot of it is because officials don't seem to know how to officiate a guy like Howard. They had the same problem with Shaq. He's bigger and stronger than everyone, so he naturally is physical. So defenders get physical back. It's a really fine line they have to find.

As a result though, Howard loses his cool. A lot.

But this comes after a month in which Howard nearly averaged 27 points and 15 rebounds a game on close to 70 percent shooting. It comes after he's carried a discombobulated roster back into the contender talk in the East. It comes after Howard has really established himself as the leader in the clubhouse for the league's Most Valuable Player award.

The question some are asking now is, can Dwight Howard really be the league's MVP with the scarlet letter of a suspension on his resume?

Yes, he can. End of column. What's next?

(Oh, that's not how this works? Let me explain then.)

This isn't the Heisman Trophy. This isn't baseball's Hall of Fame.  (And not that either sacred, but they do like to use some character clause in there for fun.) This is an award recognizing the best/most valuable NBA player for the season.

I mean, let's face it. Charles Barkley won an MVP. Allen Iverson won an MVP. Oscar Robertson won an MVP. Not exactly angels on the hardwood there.

The NBA intentionally leaves its criteria for MVP blank to open the door to more discussion about it and a wider range of responses. There is no checlist for character, points scored, team record or game-winning shots. The award has always been about who the best player was during a given season. Again, that's open for interpretation and it's up for each voter to decide how he places value on the word "valuable."

But one thing it doesn't have anything to do with is technical fouls.

I see the other side of the debate (if there even is one -- I'm just kind of assuming there will be). How can you be an MVP when you consistently cost your team points by giving up extra free throws and then on top of it, get suspended? I'll grant you, it's not very MVP-like to get a suspension and miss a game for your team. We kind of picture our MVPs as classic titans of basketball, the perfect player of the year. A suspension is a blemish on that flawless resume and something that puts a sour taste in a voter's mouth.

I get that. Doesn't mean it should actually count though.

One writer last season -- an Orlando one, ironically -- said he wouldn't vote for LeBron James for MVP because he sat out a couple of his team's final games. That was a stupid reason to cast your vote elsewhere. Just like basing it off of Howard's temper tantrums is too.

No doubt it's something Howard needs to get under control. If you're an MVP, you only miss games because you absolutely can't go. You don't take yourself out of them like he has because you called the ref a bad word.

Still though, that has bearing on only one game of 82. It could be an important one in the end, but most players don't play all 82. Most sit one or two nursing a strained hamstring or sore knee. It's stupid, yes, that Howard will miss one because he couldn't exercise some self-control, but that's all it is. Stupid.

We want our players to play with emotion. We want them to play with fire. Channeling that into your game and not outwardly at the officials is the key, but sometimes the streams cross. Howard is an easy target for technicals because he gets fouled a lot, gets fouled hard a lot and sees a lot of them go uncalled. Then on the other end Dwyane Wade jumps into his chest and Howard gets hit with a foul. I'd complain too.

We can sit here and think we'd be bigger people on the court and turn the other cheek every time. But basketball is a game of emotion. It's a game of reaction. And sometimes, it all bleeds together and Howard blows his top. I don't condone it, but I understand it.

This award always has been about what impact you make on your team. Whether you think it's more about stats, team record or highlight plays, that's your prerogative. But right now, nobody is making a bigger impact than Howard. In all three of those areas too. I guess you could say that currently, he would get my pretend vote for MVP. And a couple silly technical fouls isn't going to change that.

Losing a game because you lost your temper is silly and it hurts your team. That's clear. That's obvious. But since when does one game trump 81 others?
Category: NBA

Since: Mar 13, 2008
Posted on: March 6, 2011 6:58 pm

Should Howard's 16th tech cost him MVP votes?

Lean on James?? The heat cant even win!!

Since: Sep 5, 2010
Posted on: March 6, 2011 3:38 pm

Should Howard's 16th tech cost him MVP votes?

Howard is a complete A-hole and deserves every T he gets. Now every other T will be a suspension. HAHA! 

Since: Dec 29, 2006
Posted on: March 6, 2011 3:31 pm

Should Howard's 16th tech cost him MVP votes?

when did howard become a MVP candidate?..he isn't top 5 in my opinion ..

Since: Jan 20, 2010
Posted on: March 6, 2011 12:16 am

Should Howard's 16th tech cost him MVP votes?

Well it wouldnt matter anyway he wasnt gonna get it in the first place lol

Since: Nov 14, 2009
Posted on: March 5, 2011 11:44 pm

Should Howard's 16th tech cost him MVP votes?

@ Bellasonne,
Well put.  It would be a "no" either way, but he needs to be in the talks before consideration.

Since: Aug 29, 2006
Posted on: March 5, 2011 11:18 pm

Should Howard's 16th tech cost him MVP votes?

Yeah it should, not that he would win a MVP anyways! That was strictly a punk move, the foul wasn't even that hard and it was from Kyle Korver for Christmas sake. He is a whiner and griper and pretend you are a professional every once in a while, another classic case of a prima donna who thinks the rules should be written just for him. Every once in a while when he gets fouled there should be hell to pay, never mind you were 4-12 from the free throw line you stupid playground bully idiot.

Since: Jul 24, 2009
Posted on: March 5, 2011 8:22 pm

Should Howard's 16th tech cost him MVP votes?

Kinda out of character for the usually moderate Howard.

Will it hurt his chances for the MVP? No- but mainly beecause he is not a bonafide MVP candidate. My opinion.

Since: Jan 2, 2008
Posted on: March 5, 2011 6:50 pm

Should Howard's 16th tech cost him MVP votes?

Since when is Howard the "leader in the clubhouse" for the MVP award?!?!?!?
Everything I've read uses that EXACT phrase to describe Derrick Rose. For a long time it's been "Rose of James"? With people starting to lean on James.

This writer is overstating his case to try and make the article interesting. Howard will not be the MVP anyway.

Since: Dec 1, 2006
Posted on: March 5, 2011 6:36 pm

Should Howard's 16th tech cost him MVP votes?

Whether this affects Howard's MVP eligibility is going to come down to how many games he sits between now and the end of the season.
If he gets T'd up every 4th game (what 16 techs in 60 games roughly amounts to), then he's going to sit 4 times before the playoffs.
If that costs Orlando their chance at the division title (with Miami being in the middle of a collapse with 11 straight games against +.500 teams) then it should absolutely cost him the MVP.
And all you Howard apologists need to STFU about whether any of his techs were legit or not.  People all over the league are getting hit with highly questionable T's right now.  Howard can talk to an official about a call he disagrees about without waving his arms around and making a scene.  If he can't, then maybe he needs to go back to preschool and learn a thing or two about manners.  Temper tantrums don't accomplish anything positive for your team, especially now with the aggressive "respect for the game" rules.  
Even before that rule was enacted, Howard was near or at the top of the list in T's on an annual basis.  He needs to grow the heck up.

Since: Jan 13, 2011
Posted on: March 5, 2011 6:15 pm

Should Howard's 16th tech cost him MVP votes?

Smart players know that to react at the moment they're fouled, plays into the hands of their opponent. There is always time to retaliate later in a way that is often a much bigger response than what could have been given in the immediate moment of the transgression. Setting a very hard pick, for instance, can be a way to let your opponent know you didn't appreciate whatever he did.
Jawing with the officials, though, to the point where you get a technical called is just plain foolish. I do understand the frustration of feeling the ref's aren't on top of what's happening, but as a pro you have to do things in a way that is effective. There is a time and a way to let the ref's know your point of view without getting in their face. When that is how you normally do things, they're less likely to call a technical when you do get a little emotional.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or