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Dwight Howard takes to twitter to apologize to Lakers fans, hints at return

Apr 29, 2013, 10:07 AM EDT

San Antonio Spurs v Los Angeles Lakers - Game Four Getty Images

Dwight Howard‘s final game as a Laker was ugly.

San Antonio early on in its series against the Lakers took to the strategy of fouling Howard hard every time he went up for a shot. San Antonio fronted him in the post, was physical in taking away his position on the block, they collapsed on him (which they could do because there were no healthy Lakers guards to really fear), then finally when Howard would get the ball and start to make a move the Spurs would just foul him. Hard. Howard put up decent numbers through the series — 17 points per game on 61 percent shooting with 10.8 rebounds a contest — but he wasn’t the dominant force the shorthanded Lakers needed against the Spurs, either.

He got frustrated early in the second half of Game 4, pickup up his second technical, and got ejected. He watched the end of the Lakers season from the locker room.

Late Sunday night/Monday morning, Howard took to twitter to apologize to Lakers fans.

That last line sounds like a guy whose preference is to return to Los Angeles next season. Howard is a free agent and will talk to teams besides the Lakers, but throughout the season the strongest indications from him and his camp were always that he wanted to return. And Lakers management has been clear they want him back and will offer him a max contract.

There is a lot of dance to go with Howard this summer, but the smart bet is he is back in Lakers Forum blue and gold next season.

  1. fanofevilempire - Apr 29, 2013 at 10:14 AM

    D-12, you need to decide soon if you are in or out.
    Laker Nation doesn’t need drama at this time.

    • ron05342 - Apr 29, 2013 at 12:35 PM

      Laker Nation is all about drama. Having been a fan of the team for 45 years, I am sick of it myself.

      But we have to get real here. This is a business. Of course he will listen to other teams’ offers. But in the end I am sure he will pick the Lakers. Just going to have to wait until July.

      That’s the facts of today’s NBA. So be patient. No choice in the matter.

  2. jeff6381 - Apr 29, 2013 at 10:25 AM

    Howard simply quit, he quit on his team and the fans and I would think long and hard about him on my team for the money he will get. Howard is making me second guest if he really is on the level of the other superstars in the league.

    • mazblast - Apr 29, 2013 at 10:40 AM

      He isn’t and never was a real superstar, and never will be if he doesn’t get his offensive game together, including free throws. IMO the Lakers would be making a serious, crippling mistake if they offered him a max contract.

  3. miamatt - Apr 29, 2013 at 10:38 AM

    At least he apologized like a man.

    On Twitter…

  4. aboogy123456 - Apr 29, 2013 at 10:39 AM

    I’ve been reading way too many comments from people who say Dwight is not worth the money and he’s not a max player, etc.. I think it’s clear that these people just don’t understand the NBA, where you need a superstar to build around. These commenters say not to sign dwight, but they offer no logical alternative.

    Lakers are in great shape for the future, why? Because they have one of the top 5 superstars to build their team around. Dwight howard is one of the most coveted players in the league and even though he can be a big baby, people are overlooking how good he makes his team. He’s a unique superstar because he doesn’t need the ball to be effective, so it is easier to pair him up with other stars. The lakers will offer the max and he will resign, there is way too much discussion on this when it’s very simple for both sides.

    • mazblast - Apr 29, 2013 at 10:42 AM

      If he doesn’t need the ball to be effective, why does he always whine if he doesn’t get the ball?

      • aboogy123456 - Apr 29, 2013 at 10:47 AM

        Because he wants the ball close to the basket, he doesn’t want to hold on to the ball all game, and way to be stuck on the story lines of 3 months ago. Dwight is over that, and he wants to help the team out any way he can. What you don’t understand is that Dwight is one of the easiest superstars to play with. Most of the other superstars in the league are tasked with creating offense for their teams, and having the ball in their hands a lot. Dwight is a defensive anchor and he controls the paint, making the game easier for the rest of the team. He plays to his full potential without getting in anybody’s way. Look at the Thunder, there is always the issue of who the offense should run through, westbrook or durant. Lakers won’t have that problem. If you think Dwight is not worth the max money, why don’t you offer an alternative for the lakers since you’re so smart?

      • asimonetti88 - Apr 29, 2013 at 12:02 PM

        “Too immature, cannot be counted on. Just doesn’t have the will for greatness, he’d rather have fun and have no pressure.”

        Sounds a lot like the criticisms of one LeBron James a few years ago. Keep in mind the Lakers were starting the likes of Andrew Goudelock and Chris Duhon in the Spurs series. The jury is still out on whether Dwight is the centerpiece of a championship team, but I wouldn’t make my judgment based on the Spurs series.

      • bucrightoff - Apr 29, 2013 at 1:05 PM

        The Lakers starting 5 in February was Nash, Gasol, Ron Ron, Howard and Bryant, and he was acting immature and shierking responsibility then. Also the LeBron comparision is ironic: Both took awful surronding casts (Cleveland, Orlando) to the Finals. LeBron got his chance to play with 2 elite players and has excelled. Dwight played with 3 elite players and was nothing. Injuries count, but the guy is immature, period. The only reason Laker fans want him back is so that the didn’t end up trading Andrew Bynum, 2 first round picks and 2 second round picks and only end up with injury plagued, on the downside of his career Steve Nash. But based off what he showed you, why would you want him back?

        I may have issues with Kobe as a player, but no questioning his heart and desire.I cannot imagine many Laker fans feel the same about Dwight. Pretty easy to question his heart and desire.

    • bucrightoff - Apr 29, 2013 at 10:42 AM

      Yes, he made them look so great in losing their last two games at home by 52 points. Dwight is not someone you build your team around. He’s great on a team with all the pieces in place, but as the focal point? Not a chance. Too immature, cannot be counted on. Just doesn’t have the will for greatness, he’d rather have fun and have no pressure.

    • kinggw - Apr 29, 2013 at 12:55 PM

      I agree with you that people are selling Howard short. I respectfully disagree with you about him being someone who makes his team better and is someone you build around. I think your way off regarding the state of the Lakers.

      The Lakers aren’t in great shape. They may have money to spend after next season, but who are they going to pair with Dwight that will make them a legitimate contender? LeBron won’t be coming to LA, and other free agents who could really help the Lake Show like Paul George are restricted and won’t be leaving their current teams. Do you think Howard, a 36 year old Kobe and say Deng or Granger would be anything other than a 1st round exit? The new CBA prevents the Lakers from doing business the way they used to, so they are going to have to start drafting and developing players in conjunction with their big acquisitions. The Lakers aren’t going to fall off the map, but I don’t see them being among the league’s elite for the next few years.

      • aboogy123456 - Apr 29, 2013 at 2:17 PM

        They are a great destination for free agents, they have deep pockets, they have dwight, and they are not committed to any other long term contracts. I’m not sure what they will do, but they have flexibility and a ton of potential, even without draft picks.

        I think if you have one of the clear max players in the league, then you are in great shape. It’s like in the NFL, if you have one of the elite qbs, it’s much easier to fill in the missing pieces than if you have a bunch of solid role players but not the great QB. NBA teams spend years trying to find a max worthy player ( look at the rockets ) and the lakers have one. We can argue whether or not he is the centerpiece of a championship team, but it’s not like the lakers can only afford one huge contract.

        What would you do with Dwight? Would you not max him out? I just don’t see that there are more than 5 or 6 players that change the game as much as dwight.

      • unxpexted1 - Apr 29, 2013 at 4:46 PM

        “They are a great destination for free agents”

        I love my Lakers but i highly disagree with this comment. People say this all the time, but when was the last time we really landed a high sought after free agent. Shaq? Most of the quality players in the last decade-plus we have landed via traded. Kobe (draft day trade, odom, pau). Off the top of my head i cannot remember a high quality free agent signing in LA in recent years.

      • kinggw - Apr 29, 2013 at 4:57 PM

        It doesnt matter if they have deep pockets if there are no difference makers to give the money to. You don’t seem to understand that the Lakers can no longer wait until major players become free agents and outbid other teams for their services like they did in 96′ with Shaq. They can no longer wait until small market teams like the Grizzlies decide to give up on their superstars because they wont have the funds to sign them. The new CBA lets teams give their players an extra $30M that their potential new teams can’t. That is going to hurt the Lakers.

        The Lakers are a destination franchise, but only two or three players in the league can afford to leave $30M on the table to play in LA. LeBron is one of those guys, but he’s not going to LA. Maybe Kevin Love or Westbrook in a few years, but most stars are going to go the Deron Williams route. They will flirt with other teams but stay in the situation that gives them the most security/money.

        If I was the Lakers, I would let Dwight walk. I’d accept the fact that the next 3-5 years are going to belong to the Heat,Thunder, etc. and start the rebuild. I’d I think he’s a great player, but I don’t think he’s a player I would build around. He’s a 1a player. I’d love to have him if I had a Chris Paul, Derrick Rose or player of that ilk already on board, but I wouldn’t want him to be the centerpiece.

      • aboogy123456 - Apr 29, 2013 at 6:29 PM

        you guys are right that there aren’t any huge free agent names that are on the market, but Dwight howard is the biggest one and it’s awesome that the lakers are going to keep him. @unexpected – the destination argument is a real argument. Yea, with the current cba it’s very hard to sign other team’s free agents, but we’ve seen many examples where guys will want to play in LA because it’s LA. Look at Pau for example, he sometimes hates playing on the team but he doens’t want to leave because it’s so sunny and there are good opportunities for acting. The same will happen with dwight. The lakers may not attract free agents but they sure do have a good track record of keeping them. That’s one of the advantages that the lakers enjoy and that the CBA will never fix.

      • aboogy123456 - Apr 29, 2013 at 7:01 PM

        @king I just looked up potential free agents in 2014 and here are some guys that could be potential sign targets that I think can help a lakers team centered around dwight. There are obvious guys like lebron and tony parker but I’ll leave those super elite guys off the list bc they are not likely.

        Eric Bledsoe, norris cole, kyrie irving, avery bradley, reggie jackson, marshon brooks, evan fournier, sefolosha, gordon hayward, jimmy butler, draymond green, paul george, Deng, spencer hawes, caron butler, tobias harris.

        forgive any inaccuracies, there are more but I think this shows that there are plenty of non-lebron targets for the lakers in the summer of 2014, and there are a lot of good defenders and role players.

  5. misterdreamer119 - Apr 29, 2013 at 10:40 AM

    I hope he signs with lakers. He cripple that franchise for years to come.
    Go celtics.

  6. klownboy - Apr 29, 2013 at 10:42 AM

    Ah, what a train wreck of a season for LA. Lots of changes in the offseason in LA-LA land. I don’t think Howard will (and shouldn’t be asked) back.

  7. magicbucs - Apr 29, 2013 at 10:55 AM

    Funny how Dwight can make the finals and conference finals twice with no other super stars on his team but surround him with so called super stars and get swept in the 1st round lol.
    #teammates #coaching #karma

  8. ranoversquarells - Apr 29, 2013 at 11:11 AM

    Nothing says I’m mature than an apology on twitter …

  9. erckle31 - Apr 29, 2013 at 11:18 AM

    If he leaves, we’re effed. No draft picks, no Kobe. Pau might be gone too. Just a whole new world of hurt…

  10. uscthom78 - Apr 29, 2013 at 11:38 AM

    “Superman” is robin the hood looking for max contract.

  11. edwardemanuelson - Apr 29, 2013 at 11:43 AM

    Want to cut down on getting fouled underneath the hoop all game, Dwight?

    Take a lesson from the all time great big man who just swept you, and develope a jump shot.

  12. readysethike - Apr 29, 2013 at 11:55 AM

    look on the bright side…if howard leaves lakers can sign jason collins

  13. sportsnut101 - Apr 29, 2013 at 12:06 PM

    He will be back in la to sign his sign n trade deal to nets for brook Lopez U just had Howard for a yr n did nothing yes u can blame injuries but injuries can happen every yr

    Take Lopez n brooks from nets n pick n call it a yr. brooks can shoot. For some reason nets didn’t play him this yr cuz they say he can’t play def Well neither can dwilliams n joe Johnson n neither can lakers so he’s perfect

    I wanna see Howard on rockets Have asik as backup. They have cap room to make it happen.

  14. melkipershero - Apr 29, 2013 at 12:16 PM

    Difference between Lebron and Dwight is you could tell Lebron cared and he busted his ass to get where he is now. Seems like Dwight comes back every year as exactly the same player

  15. melkipershero - Apr 29, 2013 at 12:24 PM

    Anyone seen him saying something to the Lakers GM after he was ejected? I really dont think LA wants him back

    • unxpexted1 - Apr 29, 2013 at 4:48 PM

      yea i’m surprise that lil altercation or whatever you want to call that hasnt got more press.

  16. bucs24 - Apr 29, 2013 at 12:24 PM

    Hit the road jack, d12 good luck with Dallas next year

  17. mdub11 - Apr 29, 2013 at 12:33 PM

    lol @ “best fans in the NBA”

  18. thetooloftools - Apr 29, 2013 at 1:45 PM

    He has NO HEART. It’s a little late to start pretending you care. You should be playing with an aggressive ‘tude and go out there and wreak havoc. You did none of that. Most of the time you played like your head wasn’t even in the game.
    And NOW you care?
    No way do you deserve to get a max deal until YOU start putting forth max effort 100% of the time and I have seen nothing that leads me to believe you remotely care if your team wins or loses.
    I don’t want the Lakers to sign you. Your “Clownboy” act brings everybody down.
    Too little too late.

  19. gobucs5 - Apr 29, 2013 at 1:46 PM

    Well, go magic

  20. aboogy123456 - Apr 29, 2013 at 2:19 PM

    For the people that say lakers shouldn’t Max out dwight, can you tell me what you think they should do? It’s easy to pile on dwight because of his personality, but do you really not want him on your team? Tell me a scenario where choosing to not max out dwight will help the lakers, then we can actually evaluate whether it is a good decision or not.

    • unxpexted1 - Apr 29, 2013 at 5:12 PM

      I think we should completely rebuild. Even with dwight we are not legit contenders and he is not worth maxing out. Not now at least. He still has a chance to get one more max deal before its over with. I would start completely over, get young and grow into a legit team. I do feel like the days of wheeling n dealing in the NBA are coming to an end. Just look at this past trade deadline. I used to look forward to deadline day but the big moves arent gonna happen lke they used to.

      I say trade gasol and get as young as possible abd maybe some picks. Amnesty Ron Ron, resign dwight if we can for the 80-90 million range. Just start anew and be prepared for some a subpar year and trust management to put the right pieces together and get prepared for 2014. WE can’t move forward with what we have.

      • aboogy123456 - Apr 29, 2013 at 6:33 PM

        Very interesting, but I have to respectfully disagree. You can rebuild with Dwight. He is only 27 years old, how long do you want the rebuilding process to take? How many players drafted in the last 10 years are on Dwight’s level? If the lakers were to rebuild and get draft picks, we would be lucky if they can draft someone as good as dwight, so why not just take him now??

        If the lakers choose to rebuild, they should resign dwight. If they choose to go all in for one more year with kobe, then I think they still resign dwight.

      • aboogy123456 - Apr 29, 2013 at 6:38 PM

        Also, I think the lakers are not that far away from contending again. If kobe can come back healthy, I would like to see them keep pau and try to go after it for one more year. If they want to trade pau they could trade him for someone like kevin love, and they would be worse next year but would be set up for the future. The lakers don’t need any big names besides howard, gasol, and kobe. If they can just surround those three guys with good defensive players that can shoot, they will be much better. For their team, I would try to amnesty or trade nash and try to replace him witha defensive guard. If they can somehow get a bledsoe or bradley that would be ideal, but someone even like norris cole would go a long way. You can find those guys on the cheap. If darius morris gets better on offense, his defensive skills could provide what they are missing.

      • mogogo1 - Apr 29, 2013 at 7:14 PM

        Of course, you CAN rebuild around Dwight. (His age isn’t really an issue, though his health is in question.) But is it advisable to rebuild around a guy who simply doesn’t seem capable of making up his mind what he wants? I cut the dude a ton of slack at the end in Orlando, figuring it was a lose-lose proposition for him and he’d simply had enough. But looking at how things turned out, he did a compete 180 by signing with the Lakers after saying he’d never follow in Shaq’s footsteps. Again, I cut him slack figuring it was his best option at the time when Brooklyn fell apart. But then he plays an entire season in LA in a funk. Sure, he was hurt at times, but it was beyond that–he seemed to have no joy in playing there. Is that attitude going to change? I’d want some assurance he was going to be fully on board before I decided to commit a rebuild to him. Because he’s giving off the vibe of a guy who really wants the money but is still going to be sullen and unhappy even after getting it.

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