It's been a tough offseason for fans of the New York Mets, following a tough season.
Last summer, a full year of rumors linking the Brooklyn Nets and center Dwight Howard appeared to reach a merciful conclusion.
Back in the summer, Shaquille O'Neal drew some ridicule for making the claim that Brook Lopez, and not Dwight Howard, was the best center in the N.B.A. (To be fair, part of this came from Shaq confusing Brook with his twin brother Robin.)
No one has accused the New York Mets of routinely making intelligent decisions for a long time. But the team's new pricing plan for Opening Day seems particularly ill-advised.
This past weekend, the losers of the Dwight Howard sweepstakes battled to see which team had been hurt less by the year-long drama that ultimately sent the star center to Los Angeles.
The Brooklyn Nets, who tried unsuccessfully to trade for Howard, defeated the Orlando Magic, who tried unsuccessfully to keep Howard, in a home-and-home series Friday night in Orlando and Sunday afternoon in Brooklyn.
It involved the center the Brooklyn Nets chased for the better part of two years, Dwight Howard, and the center they signed long-term when Howard wasn't available, Brook Lopez.
So with a glittering new arena ready for its closeup in Brooklyn, with a new roster, new logo and new claim on relevance, the Nets had general manager Billy King meet the media for an extended conversation at the team's old headquarters, on a dead-end road in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
The news blew up late Thursday night: Dwight Howard to the Los Angeles Lakers in a four-team deal.
Say this for Dwight Howard: he isn't shy about telling the Orlando Magic what he wants, even if what he wants keeps on changing.
With the decision by the Orlando Magic to suspend Dwight Howard's trade talks with the Brooklyn Nets, and the Nets' decision to sign Brook Lopez to a four-year, $60.7 million contract, it's probably safe to say that Howard, the Nets' longtime target, won't be on hand to open the new arena this fall.
With the unfortunate news that Dillon Gee needs to have surgery on Friday to address damage in his pitching shoulder from his blood clot, the Mets now know they need to address Gee's absence in more than a short-term way.
A massive, four-team deal to bring Dwight Howard to the Brooklyn Nets from the Orlando Magic has fallen apart, and now the Magic are preparing to deal Howard elsewhere.
We don't know yet how the Dwight Howard saga will end, but we do know now what the sequence of events will look like if he's to end up on the Brooklyn Nets.
It's not a simple one.