Somewhere, LeBron James is writing Dwight Howard a thank-you note.
Why? Because James' character has apparently been rehabilitated because he won a couple of championships (as opposed to donating a million bucks or so to charity), and Howard's has been destroyed because he decided free agency meant he should be a free agent. The agreement in the chattering classes is universal - the only way Howard can restore his "reputation" is by winning championships in Houston. Doing good works, keeping his nose clean, not getting involved in accusations of sexual assault like the guy in LA who wanted him to stick around - none of that stuff matters. If he wants to convince us that he's a mensch, he has to win rings. Until then, he's a low-down, rootin'-tootin', rascally varmint what ain't never done nobody no good, especially since he decided that an up-tempo guard-driven system and playing in the shadow of an aging, notoriously prickly superstar wasn't for him. (Or, to put it another way: of course Howard's numbers were down in L.A. It's hard to score when Kobe's treating the ball like it's the Loc-Nar.)
So go ahead, LeBron. Write that note. Thank Dwight. And when get ready, because when your contract is up, it's going to be your turn all over again.