Skip to content

Shaq says Dwight Howard couldn’t handle the pressure of playing for the Lakers (VIDEO)

Jul 6, 2013, 9:30 PM EDT

Shaquille O’Neal has taken plenty of shots at Dwight Howard over the years, so when the free agent center left the Lakers after one season and chose to sign with the Houston Rockets, we shouldn’t have expected anything less.

O’Neal was a grand marshall for a NASCAR race at the Daytona International Speedway on Saturday, and when asked to comment on Howard’s decision, he didn’t let the opportunity to get another jab in slip away.

“It was expected,” O’Neal said. “We’ve all been in L.A. and not a lot of people can handle being under the bright lights. Everybody wants to do it, but when you get there, there are certain pressures. I think it was a safe move for him to go to a little town like Houston.”

Shaq’s history of negatively commenting on Howard at every turn clearly makes him anything but an unbiased observer, here. But to a certain extent, O’Neal is absolutely right.

Howard was never able to handle the championship-or-bust situation he was thrown into last season, playing on a theoretical super-team alongside Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, and Steve Nash. When the injuries began to mount and the losses soon followed, Howard quickly tired of answering questions about when and how the team with so much talent would be able to turn things around.

Even as the Lakers began to right the ship in the second half of the season before Bryant went down with the Achilles injury, the 28-12 run the team went on to close the year out still wasn’t enough to make the scrutiny disappear.

For better or worse, there won’t be anywhere near that type of pressure to win in Houston. Watching Howard and the way he failed miserably to handle it during his only season in Los Angeles, there’s no question that the expectations of playing for one of the league’s most storied franchises was not something he wanted any part of dealing with for the foreseeable future.

Latest Posts
  1. Dion Waiters: Kevin Love ‘thinks I’m underrated’ and ‘knows I pass the ball’

    Aug 27, 2014, 7:22 PM EDT

    Dion Walters, Kevin Love Dion Walters, Kevin Love

    Waiters on the possibility of playing with Love, LeBron James and Kyrie Irving: ‘I’ve got to destroy my opponent’

  2. Michael Beasley gets second Lakers workout

    Aug 27, 2014, 5:00 PM EDT

    Los Angeles Lakers v Miami Heat Los Angeles Lakers v Miami Heat

    Former No. 2 remains unsigned after disappointing season with Heat

  3. Doc Rivers got PAID

    Aug 27, 2014, 4:22 PM EDT

    San Antonio Spurs v Los Angeles Clippers San Antonio Spurs v Los Angeles Clippers

    New contract with Clippers makes Rivers the NBA’s highest-paid coach

  4. Cavaliers sold Kyrie Irving on contract extension with LeBron James-Kevin Love plan

    Aug 27, 2014, 2:22 PM EDT

    Cleveland Cavaliers v Miami Heat Cleveland Cavaliers v Miami Heat

    Go back to July 1 and consider the possibility of LeBron James and Kevin Love playing for Cleveland this season

  5. Kevin Love says Timberwolves owner should focus on his own team following trade to Cavaliers

    Aug 27, 2014, 1:02 PM EDT

    Kevin Love Kevin Love

    Minnesota’s owner tried to point out some of Love’s flaws once the deal was done.

  6. Doc Rivers signs contract with Clippers through 2019

    Aug 27, 2014, 12:21 PM EDT

    Doc Rivers, Steve Ballmer Doc Rivers, Steve Ballmer

    Clippers owner Steve Ballmer calls keeping Rivers ‘one of my top priorities’

  7. Donald Sterling doesn’t appeal, basically throws in towel on owning Clippers

    Aug 27, 2014, 11:46 AM EDT

    Donald Sterling, V. Stiviano Donald Sterling, V. Stiviano

    Donald Sterling will try to embarrass the league going forward, but he will not ever own the Clippers again.

  8. Iman Shumpert excited to play in triangle offense because he won’t just have to stand in the corner

    Aug 27, 2014, 10:31 AM EDT

    Miami Heat v New York Knicks Getty Images

    Shumpert and other Knicks will love an offense with player and ball movement… if ‘Melo shares the rock.

  9. Sixers GM says he never had conversations about acquiring Anthony Bennett

    Aug 27, 2014, 9:51 AM EDT

    Sam Hinkie

    Sixers value a pick in next year’s draft more than they do Bennett at this time.

  10. Report: Clippers plan to stretch Carlos Delfino, waive Miroslav Raduljica

    Aug 27, 2014, 9:22 AM EDT

    Carlos Delfino Carlos Delfino

    Clippers could sign Chris Douglas-Roberts, Ekpe Udoh with freed cap space

  11. Anthony Davis was filling up the stat sheet vs. Slovenia (VIDEO)

    Aug 27, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT

    Anthony Davis Anthony Davis

    Davis had 18 points, nine rebounds, five blocks and three steals in 20 minutes of work.

  12. Kyrie Irving, Goran Dragic threw some wicked moves at each other (VIDEO)

    Aug 27, 2014, 12:25 AM EDT

    Puerto Rico v United States Getty Images

    The point guards made this blowout more fun to watch.

Featured video

Will LeBron get booed Christmas Day in Miami?
Top 10 NBA Player Searches
  1. K. Love (3958)
  2. D. Rose (3840)
  3. T. Young (2747)
  4. L. James (2727)
  5. K. Bryant (2718)
  1. K. Irving (2641)
  2. E. Bledsoe (2137)
  3. G. Hayward (2085)
  4. A. Davis (2000)
  5. R. Allen (1940)