Lakers address Heat and expectations
By Arash Markazi
LOS ANGELES -- Miami Heat forward LeBron James recently said the Los Angeles Lakers haven't had to go through the same level of scrutiny he and the Heat did two seasons ago.
On Wednesday, Kobe Bryant responded as only he can.
"What does it matter?" Bryant said. "What does he want, a cookie for that?"
The Lakers will play the Heat on Thursday with both teams looking for a win rather than bragging rights about dealing with expectations and adversity.
In 2010-2011 when James joined forces with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami, the Heat started the season 9-8 before finishing 58-24 and losing to the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA Finals. This season, the Lakers with Bryant, Dwight Howard, Steve Nash and Pau Gasol are 17-21. Various injuries to Howard, Nash and Gasol have prevented the Lakers' core from playing together at the same time much this season.
Howard said he understood where James was coming from with his comments, considering the widespread backlash James received after announcing his decision to take his "talents to South Beach" during a nationally televised special.
"Most people hated LeBron for what he did and how he did it," Howard said. "Not just that he left, but the manner that he left as far as doing it on TV and the whole thing. In this situation, I don't think people have hate for the Lakers for [trading for Howard and Nash]. I think that's a little bit different. As far as pressure, with our team, everyone expected us to go 82-0 so there's a lot of pressure on us. We feel it every time we step on the court and we can hear it every time we miss a shot or somebody scores. People are upset. They don't expect anybody to score on us. It's a lot of pressure."
Howard said he was actually pulling for James to win a championship last season as Howard recovered from back surgery.
"I was happy for him," Howard said. "I was mad that I was hurt. I had to watch the Finals in bed, but I was happy to see him overcome things people were saying and all the things he had to go through from leaving Cleveland.
"We all have different paths that we have to take. I'm on my path and he's on his. We both want to win, that's why we play this game. He's had three times to win a championship and last time it worked for him. Hopefully it won't take me that long."
Howard also addressed criticism he received from former Laker Robert Horry, who was a guest on ESPNLA 710 on Tuesday and said he would like to see Howard more serious and focused and not smile as much.
"I'm going to continue to be me," Howard said. "I'm going to continue to do what I do. It's made me successful the last nine years. I'm not going to stop smiling. This is what I do for a living and if you have a problem with me smiling we can talk about it. I'm playing basketball. I get paid a lot of money to play basketball.
"I'm going to have fun and I don't care who has a problem with it. He had his time. His time has come and gone. Don't try to tell me how I need to play because I think it's stupid. I never judged him on how he played. Just because I smile and have fun doesn't mean I don't take this game seriously. I don't want anybody to ever get that twisted. I came here to win championships and I came here to dominate but I'm going to do it with a smile on my face."
Howard Talks About Expectations and Horry
Posted January 17, 2013 - 12:15 AM
The North Remembers
Posted January 17, 2013 - 12:24 AM
Those are some fightin' words by Dwight, damn haha. Wonder if they'll bring this up on the next Lakers' Access Sportsnet Pre-Game or Post-Game with Rob in the studio. That'll make for some interest.
Lol, that would be good television. Howard just fed up, first Shaq now Horry.
Edited by MadSci, January 17, 2013 - 12:24 AM.
The North Remembers
Posted January 17, 2013 - 12:52 AM
Horry admitted that he has to tone down his takes for the network broadcast but was more willing to speak freely at the event.
Posted January 17, 2013 - 12:58 AM
Hotter? She's not even hot, but I get you & I agree. I mean if you're gonna' bring in a chick who's not even attractive, the least she can possess is some smarts, but she doesn't even bring much to the table mentally either so she's practically unqualified. Terrible hire, terrible decision.
they need to get someone hotter than Andy Adler.
While we're somewhat on it too, Billy Mac and his "foody calls" can go for all I care as well.
Posted January 17, 2013 - 01:01 AM
Posted January 17, 2013 - 01:05 AM
Posted January 17, 2013 - 01:20 AM
Posted January 17, 2013 - 03:10 AM
Posted January 17, 2013 - 03:27 AM
These old retired players need to lay off the guy seriously everyone just keeps throwing stuff at him I personally don't have a problem with how Dwight acts as long as he is playing well and he has since he came back.
Posted January 17, 2013 - 03:50 AM
Posted January 17, 2013 - 07:18 AM
Theres a reason hes Dwight Howard and the best center in the league and hes been smiling the whole time.
IF his game gets worse and hes goofing around, then I understand people should get mad.
His game so far this season (until recently) obviously hasn't been his best but hes getting used to a new offense and a new team and also recovering from back surgery at the same time.
If he decides to ditch the smiles, it wont make us a championship team.
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