Recap: Lakers dropped their third straight game to the Houston Rockets, 113-99. Los Angeles suffered another dismal third quarter, which ultimately lead to their demise as James Harden went for 38 points. Pau Gasol lead the way for the Lakers with a double-double (21 points & 12 rebounds).
Now that Howard has chosen the Houston Rockets over the Lakers reports are coming out with details of his meetings and what Howard’s representatives were saying. According to sources speaking with ESPN.com Howard was looking for a quick end to Bryant’s reign as the leader of the Los Angeles Lakers. It was said that Howard would have a difficult time re-signing with the Lakers if Kobe Bryant were to remain there beyond the 13-14 season, his contract year.
Bryant, while recovering from his Achilles’ tear, has found a new fire in his heart to play another three or four seasons in the NBA and this goes directly against Howard’s wanting to become the face of LA, so he bolted.
“How can it be Kobe’s team and Dwight’s team?” one source said. “It was about the passing of the torch.”
Here’s the part where it gets gutsy. Howard’s camp reportedly asked the Lakers if they were considering using their amnesty provision on Kobe Bryant, seeing that his return to basketball was up in the air due to his devastating injury. It seems quite audacious to ask such a question, in other words, are you willing to throw out Bryant, arguably the best Laker ever, for Howard who hasn’t really proven his worth up until this point. Of course the Lakers said this wasn’t up for discussion and the end of Bryant’s tenure with the Lakers would be up to Bryant himself, you don’t just
throw in the towel on someone of his caliber.
It had even been discussed that Howard, when in talks with Chris Paul about teaming up, said that they both could play in LA for either the Lakers or the Clippers. This would mean however, trading Nash and Gasol to make room for both their salaries, oh and they’d still be amnestying Bryant. Immediately this plan was off the table for the Lakers as they don’t see this as a viable option going forward.
Howard wanted the transfer of power sooner rather than later, and Kobe, now wanting to play three more seasons, was the biggest obstacle in his way. Here’s what Howard had to say regarding his latest decision in free agency.
“I just really think the timing in L.A., it wasn’t right for me,” Howard told ESPNLosAngeles.com’s Dave McMenamin on Friday. “Maybe two years ago, or 2-3 years from now, it would have been the right time. But I just think right now the timing was off for me. That’s not saying that L.A. is a bad place, but I just think it’s all about timing and fit when you’re talking about basketball. You can put anybody together on the court and expect them to win, but the pieces have to really fit in order for a team to be successful and it was very, very tough, man. It’s probably one of the toughest decisions I’ve ever had to make in my life.”
This actually makes a whole lot of sense when you look at it from Howard’s perspective, should this have happened a couple years ago or a few years into the future Howard may have re-signed with LA as the timing would have been more appropriate. With Bryant still leading the team for three more seasons likely and Howard wanting to be the franchise player now, the puzzle pieces just didn’t fit into place.
Howard also wants it to be known that D’Antoni wasn’t the sole reason for his departure.
“I think that we had our moments, but I think that his style was a little bit different than what I was accustomed to,” Howard told ESPNLosAngeles.com of D’Antoni. “But I don’t want to blame any of that on the coach as the reason why I’m leaving.”
Overall Howard wanted the Lakers to be his own, he wanted to call the shots, have the offense run through him, and be the face of LA. Kobe Bryant still being there however, impeded that vision of Howards, ultimately leading him to sign with a Rockets team that was much more amenable to his needs. I find it interesting that his camp actually was thinking the Lakers would amnesty Kobe Bryant for Howard to take the reigns in the least organic way possible. You can’t force things like this, they just happen with time and that’s how championship teams are built. Dwight Howard’s time in Los Angeles was running out from the second he stepped foot into Staples’ Center, and it clearly just wasn’t meant to be.
How do you feel about Howard’s camp asking if the Lakers would amnesty Kobe Bryant, audacious? Acceptable? Rude? Let’s hear it Nation!
Dwight Howard has finally made his big decision and it’s bad news to four out of the five teams who were trying to get him to wear their jersey. He told Dallas that they were out of the running first, and shortly thereafter news surfaced that he had chosen to sign with Houston.
This shouldn’t come as a huge surprise to many unless you’ve been living on the moon, and even there you’ve probably heard about all of the Dwight drama. It was basically a done deal that Dwight wanted to go to Houston to play along side the likes of Jeremy Lin and James Harden; a young core of players where Dwight wouldn’t feel the immense pressure to succeed like he would in Staples Center. The lights of Hollywood were just too big for the NBA’s best center, and so he decided to go to a place where everything wouldn’t be on his shoulders.
Now, Howard can’t officially sign the deal until July 10, when the NBA lifts the moratorium, but it’s a done deal that Howard has made up his mind and he wants to take his talents to Texas. What does this mean for the Lakers? Well currently Los Angeles is without a decent center, with only Jordan Hill and Robert Sacre on the roster. Los Angeles has many options to choose from to fix the currently shallow roster and I’m sure Mitch Kupchak is already on the phone making deals and asking questions.
This news of Howard affects the entire league as some players were basing their decisions off of his as to where they would sign.
However, news just surfaced that Howard’s agent has said Howard has NOT made his decision yet on where he plans to play next season. Regardless of whether he has finalized his decision or not, it’s likely that Houston will be the winners of the Dwight Howard sweepstakes.
Chris Broussard has reported that Dwight’s camp has notified the Los Angeles Lakers that he will not be returning to the team. Howard is to sign a 4 year 88 million dollar deal with the Houston Rockets.
I’ll update this article as more news comes out, so be sure to keep checking back Nation. Are you glad to see him leave LA? Would you have preferred to see him stay? Let’s hear your thoughts Nation!
Dwight Howard is a seven-time NBA All-Star. Dwight Howard is a three-time Defensive Player of the Year. Dwight Howard is five-time All-NBA First Team player. Dwight Howard is not the future of the Los Angeles Lakers.
There have been many superstars throughout the history of the NBA. None of them have been as indecisive and immature as Dwight Howard.
As is often times the case in a results-driven league, Howard’s talent has caused many to dismiss his lack of maturity on the court, his child-like behavior off of it, and his overall lack of self-awareness in his constantly changing mindset.
Howard wanted out of Orlando, then he wanted to opt-in, then he wanted out again. He also only wanted to go to Brooklyn, then he was happy to be a Laker, then he was frustrated, and now according to ESPN, he wants to run away from difficulty again and head to Texas. But not before putting the blame on the Lakers, like he did to the Magic.
Howard’s major problem with the Lakers is the system that coach Mike D’Antoni employs… Howard also does not want to be second fiddle to Bryant for several more seasons.
Dwight is blaming the coach and the system for his shortcomings, this sounds familiar doesn’t it? D’Antoni in no way has done a good job with the Lakers, and his system is very much to blame for the short-comings we saw all season long, but for that to be the reason Howard leaves Los Angeles is ridiculous.
This is especially true when you consider the fact that Howard is looking at Houston as an option. You know, the team who launches three’s at a record-pace and runs exactly none of their offense through the low-post. Yet that system doesn’t seem to be an issue to Dwight.
The Dallas Mavericks also seem to be an option. A team with an aging star in Dirk Nowitzki that will be Howard’s team to call his very own a year from now. And to a self-centered man like Dwight Howard, being handed the keys to a franchise without delivering any results sounds like the perfect deal.
It’s time for Laker fans to face some realities. Dwight Howard is not the type of player to lead you to a championship, and in a city where success is measured by titles do we really want to hitch our fortunes to him? When someone shows over and over again that they refuse to accept responsibility for their decisions, that they refuse to grow up and act like the professional they are expected to be, they are not the type of player you want leading you into the future.
Do the Lakers as a franchise want to commit over $100 million to someone who has shown no commitment, and to some extent only shown disrespect to the greatest franchise in sports today? Howard’s contract will determine the immediate and long-term future of the Lakers, and could end up being one of the most important decisions the franchise ever makes. Do you really want to risk all of that on someone who you can’t trust to stick to a single decision?
Los Angeles has been spoiled with Kobe Bryant for the last decade and a half. Bryant is a superstar who takes challenges head on, who enjoys overcoming difficulty and who only wants to win. Howard is the complete opposite of that. He runs from challenges and criticism. Howard wants nothing but adulation from his fan base, regardless of the results he brings.
Dwight Howard wants all the praise that comes with being a franchise player, while playing like a secondary All-Star and acting like a child who is never at fault.
Even if he regains his pre-injury form, Howard will never be the type of player to lead you to a championship. The Lakers should let this spoiled brat tuck his tail and run to Texas.
Belal Abdelfattah is a sports addict, sneaker junkie and Laker Nation contributor. You can follow him on Twitter at @ItsBelal_A
With the Lakers off to a poor start, trade rumors have begun to swirl around Kobe Bryant, leading many to speculate if he'll leave for greener pastures. Kobe puts those rumors to rest in his interview with Yahoo Sports.