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Dwight Howard says leaving Los Angeles was tough but he wanted to win

Sep 26, 2013, 6:12 PM EDT

Here’s the money quote from the pre-camp Dwight Howard interview done by

“The biggest part was leaving a storied franchise and also leaving a lot of money on the table, but in order to win you’ve got to sacrifice something. It would have been great to have that stuff, the money and all that stuff, but I want to win.”

That’s going to go over in Los Angeles about as well “R.I.P.D.

That said, I will agree with him on one thing — he has a better chance to be on a winner over the next five years with this Rockets roster than with the transitioning Lakers.

Based on everything we’ve heard out of Howard’s meeting with the Lakers brass during free agency, it really wasn’t that hard a decision for him. Howard expected to come to Los Angeles and have the keys to the franchise handed to him, but that’s not how it went. He played hurt when he shouldn’t have and the result was he wasn’t the same player. Howard (through his people) told Lakers management he wanted Phil Jackson as coach, they went 180 degrees the other way with Mike D’Antoni. The entire season was a perfect storm of a mess and the Lakers weren’t going to clean it up for next season the way Howard wanted (this was still Kobe’s team). So he was gone.

You can say he crushed his image, but we said the same thing about Kobe Bryant and LeBron James and they both rebounded — because they won. It’s the same with Howard — if he wins in Houston over the next few years his image is very different than if he does not.

That may not be fair, but it’s reality.

  1. parlett316 - Sep 27, 2013 at 10:19 AM

    Laker fans still crying. Get over it.

  2. lhollis74 - Sep 27, 2013 at 12:49 PM

    Some of you posters are hilarious, thinking a role player who is exceptionally good at playing his role is the reason a team wins the title. Tyson chandler, Dennis rodman, and Alonso mourning all played great defense and rebounded, where they the reason their respective championship team won? I think not, you need more than that. Point is dont over estimate his value. Now if he learns to contribute substantially more on the offensive end of the floor, then his value skyrockets(no pun intended), hell, if he had post moves he could rely on the first and only time he’d been to the finals, the outcome may have been different.

    • adamsjohn714 - Sep 28, 2013 at 1:03 AM

      Rodman and Chandler were huge reasons that their teams won titles. Rodman is arguably the greatest rebounder of all time. You do know that when you grab an offensive rebound, your team gets to shoot the ball again. It’s simply wonderful. Rodman did that…. a LOT. Chandler is one of the most efficient scorers of all time as well. He hardly ever wastes a possession, shoots an incredible percentage (on a decent amount of attempts, too), and he’s not a bad defensive center either. That’s incredibly valuable. I’m sure you think it wasn’t Carmelo’s fault they lost in the playoffs.

      • lhollis74 - Sep 29, 2013 at 11:55 PM

        Great observation John, now would you have made chandler or rodman the highest paid on their respective teams at max contract dollar level? Exactly my point, no need to answer that.

      • adamsjohn714 - Sep 30, 2013 at 12:10 AM

        I would certainly pay them more than they make/made. That’s the sign of a good GM, though. Getting great deals on great players = great chance at a ring. They were both the 2nd best players on their team, and would have been the best player on many teams in the league at the time. Fortunately for them (or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it) they were second best to some guys named Jason Kidd and the lesser known Michael Jordan.

  3. lhollis74 - Sep 27, 2013 at 12:51 PM

    Oh, I forgot to add Ben Wallace to that list

    • adamsjohn714 - Sep 28, 2013 at 1:05 AM

      The case can be made statistically that he was the best player in the NBA for a few years. You certainly know how to pick ’em.

  4. 32magicman - Sep 27, 2013 at 6:21 PM

    I hope he is a nightmare in Houston and they trade him at seasons end- Back to Orlando!!!!!

    • jimeejohnson - Sep 28, 2013 at 12:30 PM

      You’ve always been a negative hater and your post continues that.

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