Originally written February 10, 2013 on Jocks and Stiletto Jill:
The spotlight’s glare can be a bit harsh in LA. it takes a different sort of individual to be able to flow and not let it wreak havoc in one’s mental. The Lakers soap opera has added another character. Dwight Howard’s dad jumped into the fray to chastise Kobe Bryant and head coach Mike D’Antoni on how they’ve handled Dwight in this recent round of media confessions. “I told him before he said it publicly, ‘It’s your career. No person can say what you need to do or not do. You can’t worry about what Kobe or anybody else says,’” the elder Howard said. “Nobody can say what Kobe said — that’s stepping into another man’s shoes. I understand what Kobe was trying to do, but he went about it the wrong way. He’s trying to win a championship. But Dwight has to tell Kobe, ‘I appreciate your opinion, but that doesn’t matter. We’re two men on this team. We need to be reasonable about this.’” Dwight Sr. said he believed Bryant was trying to motivate his son, but that the advice was misplaced, adding: “The problem is the coach. (D’Antoni) needs to step in and say, ‘You guys have got to be quiet. We’re trying to secure something here. Dwight is probably looking at the coach, thinking, ‘What are you going to do?’ I promise, if that had been Stan Van Gundy, that wouldn’t have happened. (Howard) wouldn’t have been admonished publicly. I think the coach has a lot to do with who controls Kobe’s mouth right now.” Ummm Dwight Howard Sr., did you miss the Lakers identity over these past 17 seasons? Nobody really controls Kobe’s mouth. Maybe Phil Jackson but  Also, I find it interesting that Stan Van Gundy is being brought up because that situation was REALLY ugly at the end. And I distinctly recall Stan making public statements about Dwight. The reflection of it all certainly seems warmer when you’re playing with someone who wants you to be accountable. Mike D’Antoni mentioned that there was a “rat” leaking out info to the media but he didn’t have an issue with a father defending his son. That’s what he’s supposed to do after all. D’Antoni said, “We’re good,” when asked about the state of things between him and the two Lakers’ All-Stars, and shrugged off the comments made by Howard’s father. “That’s cool,” D’Antoni said. “He should, he’s the father, he should defend his son. But I thought we had that [meeting] in Memphis. Maybe we have to do it again.” Thursday morning in Boston after the story broke that Kobe was admonishing Dwight for not playing injured, Kobe immediately said that his statement was taken out of context. So now he’s blaming this latest controversy on the media.  “people have been trying to hang on to stuff. He’s just got to go do his job, man. Just rebound, defend and we do our jobs and [fulfill] our roles on what we have to do to help us win. It’s not rocket science.” I think this final statement sums up Dwight’s experience in LA thus far. “L.A. has been like humble pie for him,” he said. “When you go from being the man in one city (Orlando) to second or third tier, it takes a toll on you mentally.” Dwight got exactly what he wanted, just in a different package. Sometimes being “The Man” isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
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