It seems that there is a terrible trend happening for NBA player Dwight Howard. For the past few years in the offseason it seems that Howard is involved with trade talks and team chemistry issues. Howard has been working on his diva role more than his free throws. Los Angeles is not the right fit for Howard because the media puts a ton of pressure on stars to win NBA titles.
Howard seems to be focused on everything but the game. Recently there are rumors swirling in Los Angeles that Howard is not happy with the way head coach Mike D’Antoni used him. Doesn’t this sound familiar?
It sounds eerily similar to what went on in Orlando. Coach Stan Van Gundy got booted out of Orlando since Howard was not happy with Stan’s coaching style. Van Gundy got fired, but soon after Howard left the Magic to play for the Lakers. Howard said he had nothing to do with Stan getting fired, but many point to Stan and Dwight’s relationship as why Van Gundy got the pink slip.
The same could happen in L.A. where Howard gets D’Antoni fired and then leaves for another team. At least some Lakers fans will be happy with that outcome. Lakers fans are still wanting Phil Jackson to come back before Kobe Bryant retires.
After the exit interview Howard spoke with Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak about his frustration with D’Antoni. Dwight feels that the coach looked to Bryant and Steve Nash for leadership and didn’t look to Howard as a leader.
“We had to just sell out to whatever he wanted, whether we liked it or not,” Howard said of D’Antoni. “We had to do what was going to benefit the team, and being one of the leaders on the team, I had to make sure I kept the guys in line to what the coach wanted us to do.”
The Lakers do not yet know Dwight Howard’s decision for next season, but the Howard did make his feelings clear about D’Antoni.
Always the leader Kobe Bryant went to Twitter to keep the team together. He tweeted, “Interesting off season looming. Will spend time with d12 #stay and talk with the Buss family in hopes that Pau stays as well #my2cents”
Howard can sign a five-year, $118 million max-level extension to stay in L.A. this offseason. Other places like Houston or Dallas look like possible destinations for Howard. To me Dwight should go somewhere that he is the main man and has a bunch of role players around him. He is a talented player and needs to just play the game and not get involved in the media circus that seems to follow him.
Financially he can make some huge bank in the state of Texas and play for either the Rockets or Mavericks. If Howard wants to be considered one of all the time great centers, he needs a change of scenery and play where he is comfortable. I just see the drama continuing if he stays with the Lakers. It will be interesting to see if Bryant can work his magic to keep Howard and Gasol in L.A.