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Josh Smith says he expects his friend Dwight Howard to stay in L.A.

Mar 4, 2013, 12:47 PM EDT

Josh Smith, Dwight Howard AP

It doesn’t make for great talk radio or arguing talking heads on television, but the smart money has always been that Dwight Howard will re-sign with the Lakers this summer (he is an unrestricted free agent). The Lakers can offer the most money, Howard likes living in Los Angeles and it would be another blow to his already-damaged image to walk away from the big stage (you can hear the cries of “he’s soft, he can’t handle it” already).

But don’t take my word for it, ask Hawks forward Josh Smith.

Smith is one of Howard’s best friends in the league and he told Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News he thinks Howard stays put.

“I can’t pick his brain and be in his head but to me, I don’t see him going anywhere,” Smith said before the Lakers hosted the Hawks at Staples Center. “It would be a shock to me.”

Why?

“Dwight is a loyal athlete and loyal person,” Smith said. “He’s not a quitter and doesn’t run from situations. That’s why I believe with this franchise and the way he’s talked so well about it, I can’t see him going anywhere.”

Fair or not, true or not, if Howard left the Lakers this summer to play for Houston or Dallas or any other team he would be called a quitter for leaving the franchise of Mikan, Kareem, Wilt and Shaq.

And him leaving seems even less likely after the Lakers recent run of play. They may make the playoffs, but even if not they have started to figure out an identity as a team, and a healthier Lakers with a full training camp (and a few more athletes after a Pau Gasol trade) could go back to being a title threat next season.

It’s not sexy, but he’s not going anywhere.

Free agent Josh Smith on the other hand… he is going to get a huge paycheck from someone this summer and it will not be Atlanta.

  1. kb2408 - Mar 4, 2013 at 12:57 PM

    What Josh was really saying is, Dwight’s not leaving L.A. and Mitch will you please get me in the PURPLE AND GOLD too! Stars don’t leave the LAKERS in their prime, stars want to play for the LAKERS while they’re in their prime. I’d rather see K. Love in the PURPLE AND GOLD next season, but Josh would be a nice consolation prize.

  2. cosanostra71 - Mar 4, 2013 at 1:04 PM

    I hope Josh Smith is right!

  3. eugenesaxe - Mar 4, 2013 at 1:04 PM

    ““Dwight is a loyal athlete and loyal person,” Smith said. “He’s not a quitter and doesn’t run from situations.”

    What dimension is Smith from? He obviously speaks of another howard.

  4. losanginsight - Mar 4, 2013 at 2:45 PM

    Thanks Josh.
    Real Laker fans never had a doubt. This is LA. Home of 16 Titles and counting.

  5. lew24 - Mar 4, 2013 at 4:03 PM

    “Dwight is a loyal athlete and loyal person, He’s not a quitter and doesn’t run from situations.”

    I disagree!

    Signed,

    Stan Van Gundy and the Orlando Magic

    • money2long - Mar 4, 2013 at 7:00 PM

      when did nba players start trading themselves under their GMs noses ? hmm

  6. raidmagic - Mar 4, 2013 at 4:42 PM

    Dwight is a loyal athlete and loyal person,” Smith said. “He’s not a quitter and doesn’t run from situations. That’s why I believe with this franchise and the way he’s talked so well about it, I can’t see him going anywhere”

    Wait, what? Signed the Orlando Magic

  7. clownsfan - Mar 4, 2013 at 5:01 PM

    Dwight Howard is the epitome of the word quitter. Not to selfish and lazy. Guy has absolutely no heart. All that ability. No heart. The Lakers can have him.

  8. clownsfan - Mar 4, 2013 at 5:02 PM

    I meant to say not to mention selfish & lazy.

  9. kb2408 - Mar 4, 2013 at 5:58 PM

    @clownsfan
    Dude, “fans” like you crack me up! You come on here and say stupid stuff like “L.A. can have him” because you know your favorite team has no chance of getting him. Because if they did, you wouldn’t be so dismissive, you would love to have him. Guys that can give a team 20-15 & 3 every night don’t come along very often. Yeah, Dwight can be a little flakey at times, but as long as he’s not out getting into trouble, and helping the LAKERS hang banners, we don’t care. Must of the crap in the media is just that anyway, CRAP. The LAKERS are finally starting to come together and we’re hearing less and less negativity.

  10. kb2408 - Mar 4, 2013 at 6:03 PM

    Lazy?? Have you seen the guy? If you have, how can you call him “lazy”?! You don’t look like that by being “lazy”. I’d really like to see what YOU look like!! Before this season how many games did he miss in his entire career? Dude, get a clue.

    • money2long - Mar 4, 2013 at 7:43 PM

      maybe they just think dwight is on steroids. that can be their only case.

      • mytthor - Mar 4, 2013 at 10:44 PM

        You know, to be on steroids, it doesn’t make you bigger, it just allows you to work out more and harder. There’s nothing lazy about it.

  11. fruitcovejag - Mar 4, 2013 at 7:08 PM

    kb, how many banners has Dwight helped his team raise? Kobe is getting older and Dwight is not, and may never be, an offensive threat. Dwight needs an ELITE, fiery PG (or strong team) to keep him motivated and lead him. We all know Dwight can’t lead, it’s not who he is. When Kobe fades I just don’t see Dwight hanging banners as a primary option on ANY team. I’ve said before that if the Lakers are rolling, hitting shots and are in a rhythm, slow them down by fouling Dwight. I can’t see why any coach wouldn’t do this unless they don’t have front court depth. Dwight is not lazy either. Loyal athlete? LOL!

  12. iamjimmyjack - Mar 4, 2013 at 8:14 PM

    Dwight knows it doesn’t get any better than the lakers. He wants to win, well the lakers give him that chance. He wants to make a hundred million, well stay in Los Angeles. He wants to be in movies, commercials, you can do that too. U want to play with the second best shooting guard ever, great. LA is just waiting for Dwight to take a public stance and committ to us so we can commit to him. It’s hard to back a player who isn’t willing to just man up and say I’m a laker. No one is going to care if he says I am a laker, but I’m waiting til summer to get more money. Everyone of us fans would do the same thing. S just say it Dwight…we are waiting.

  13. iamjimmyjack - Mar 4, 2013 at 8:17 PM

    I didnt mean that we laker fans don’t back Dwight. That sounds dumb cause I back every laker and former laker, but u guys know what I’m saying…

  14. BigBeachBall - Mar 4, 2013 at 8:18 PM

    Lakers need somebody in their 20’s who can hit an open three and is quick enough to guard westbrook or dwade… that’s all they are missing…

    • mytthor - Mar 4, 2013 at 10:45 PM

      Most of the teams in the league could use a guy like that.

  15. omniusprime - Mar 5, 2013 at 8:54 AM

    Sounds like Josh Smith wants to be a Laker alongside his friend Howard. Sounds like too many fools are on the trade Pau bandwagon. I just hope Dumbtoni is fired so we get a real coach and that Trash Nash and Steve Flake get traded away so we get a great young point guard.

    Go Lakers!!!

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