After all, the former Magic center never seemed to entertain the idea of staying in Orlando past his current contract, all but insulting the town that drafted him and supported him in the process. So, they traded him to the near-universally hated Lakers, where so far things have not gone well for the player or the team.
Orlando fans' jubilation over Howard's struggles reached a fever pitch on Dec. 2, when the Magic defeated the Lakers and embarrassed Howard in the process, forcing him to beat them with free throws (he didn't). And indeed, as George Diaz of the Orlando Sentinel writes, it was party time in Central Florida.
Diaz writes that this is basically as good as it's going to get for Magic fans this season, so they should enjoy it while the good feeling lasts:
"Any time the Magic beat the Lakers is big-time payback. The Magic aren't going anywhere this season. They are 100-1 shots to win the NBA title, the last time I checked into a Vegas sports book.
"The odds of them beating the Lakers on a regular basis aren't that good either, so what happened Sunday night amounts to Orlando's playoff run for the 2012-13 season.
"'Beat Howard' is as good as it's going to get for awhile, so take it, savor it, and let it sink in, Magic fans."
L.A. and Howard will be in Orlando in front of his ex-fans on March 12.