So some media types are shocked – shocked, I tell you – to discover that Dwight Howard may be enjoying the public nature of his free agency courtship because it makes him feel like a star. Because he likes the attention, and this is apparently bad, you see.
Now, a cynical man would point out that Howard, who is still on the “Watches Viagra ads for the comedy value” side of 30, has been a national media figure since his mid-teens. That same cynical man would also point out that when you take someone and make them a national media figure – when you report on their comings and goings, give breathless updates on their tweets, and devote untold hours of coverage to groundless speculation over where they might be interested in playing years hence, you tend to create in the subject of the scrutiny the expectation that the media attention will be there. Indeed, one might almost suggest that the years-long media frenzy would create in its subject the expectation that this was normal, and that he would come to regard wanting media attention as normal behavior as well.
But that would be cynical. To say that ESPN helped turn a guy into a fame monster and then castigated him for wanting the media spotlight? Downright misanthropic.
And substantially correct.