Whether it was because he felt called out by Kobe Bryant or not, Dwight Howard played last night in Boston. Howard was not much help, scoring nine points and grabbing nine rebounds as the Celtics crushed the Lakers 116-95.
He might be playing through the pain like Kobe not so subtly suggested he should or he may have felt like he was ready to return to action, but either way, Howard is clearly frustrated by all the talks about his injury.
Check out this exchange D12 had with a reporter when he was asked about keeping Kobe informed on the status of his health.
Obviously the reporter was trying to find out if Howard and Kobe had talked after Bryant said the Lakers need Howard back as soon as possible. Howard decides to get snippy rather than just answer the question.
DH: "Why do I have to explain that to Kobe?"
Reporter: Well, because he’s a teammate …
DH: "He’s a doctor?"
Reporter: No, but he’s a teammate.
DH: "OK. So I should explain that to all my teammates then, right?"
Reporter: Considering the comments he made yesterday …
DH: "I don’t know what he said."
Reporter No. 2: He says we don’t have time for Dwight’s shoulder to heal. We need urgency. We need him back on the floor. This is the Lakers. It’s either a championship or a complete failure.
Reporter No. 2: What do you say to that?
DH: "That’s his opinion."
More drama in Hollywood.
To me this is just hilarious. The Lakers managed to bring together this “super team” that was supposed to be a lock for the NBA Finals. Now that they are not even on pace to make they playoffs, they have all turned into a bunch of whining babies.
Honestly though, Howard is really stuck between a rock and a hard place. If he rushes back, he risks injuring himself even worse. If he does not play, then the Lakers probably keep losing and miss the playoffs. There is really no “maybe next year” for the Lakers because who knows what this team is going to look like after the summer.
If I were a Laker, I would want out as soon as possible.
The 2012-13 Lakers continue to look like one of the greatest disappointments of all time.