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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. shockexchange - Sep 26, 2013 at 6:15 PM

    Rent-A-Center felt he couldn’t win in L.A. Now let that sink in for a second … let it marinate.

    • progress2011 - Sep 26, 2013 at 8:03 PM

      What’s marinate……friggin 3rd grade folk on the site again!

      • shockexchange - Sep 26, 2013 at 8:24 PM

        It’s already marinating … that’s why you’re pissed. *Welp*

      • progress2011 - Sep 26, 2013 at 8:26 PM

        Ahahahaha….Ya’ll “FAKER-FANS” can give me a thumbs down if you want….not my fault you

        dude trying to sound cool and can’t spell a very basic word.

        Now allow that to “MARINADE”….AHAHAHAAH

        Clueless Faker Fans!

      • musician0785 - Sep 26, 2013 at 8:53 PM

        Look at the 2 Laker trolls….fighting with each other LMAOOOOOOOOOOO

      • progress2011 - Sep 26, 2013 at 9:04 PM

        Ummmm….”musician”….go sit in the corner and play your accordion……DOOFUS!

      • money2long - Sep 26, 2013 at 9:57 PM

        progress. relax. stop putting so much energy into hating a team and their fans.

      • capya - Sep 26, 2013 at 10:04 PM

        Wow, Progress, your fourth grade education is serving you well. Marinade is a noun. Marinate is a verb.

        e.g.: You’ve marinated your t-shirt in a marinade of loneliness and desperation.

      • progress2011 - Sep 26, 2013 at 10:54 PM

        Capybara / rodent

        It’s not the proper use of the word…..Nothing is stewing…other than the Faker Nations desperation to jump on any story!

        Lemme ask you this:

        1. You still think the weasel lookin black worm is the MVP
        2. You think the lakers will make the play-offs too
        3. You thought posting that billboard of D12 was gonna make him want to stay in La-La land and play with the Jack-Up-Artist


      • musician0785 - Sep 27, 2013 at 12:05 AM

        Play My accordion? Doofus? Surely you can be more creative than that……..then again…..

      • jjcleghorne - Sep 27, 2013 at 11:57 AM

        Marinate is verb meaning to steep food in a marinade, which is a noun.

      • 5xchamp24 - Sep 27, 2013 at 6:53 PM

        somebody please tell me what a faker fan is?….. fake? faker? lake? laker? I just dont get it!!

    • beijae50 - Sep 26, 2013 at 8:05 PM

      Dwight will continue throwing up bricks and missing free throws. He has no offensive game.

  2. 00maltliquor - Sep 26, 2013 at 6:24 PM

    I know you’re clowning the Lakers, but “Rent-A-Center” is pretty dang funny!

  3. kanemoney - Sep 26, 2013 at 6:24 PM

    The coaching decision would have driven me away too.

  4. boltsup - Sep 26, 2013 at 6:31 PM

    Dwight, Shut up…. Lakers are over and past you, you want to win but went to a team that was worse than us standings-wise… If u really wanted to win you would’ve forced a sign and trade to LAC or GSW… Or went to San Antonio, u lost minded soul…. Or wait for it…. Wait for it…. U should’ve shut the hell up and played with some passion and fire and made things work with Kobe Bryant… Kobe Bryant definitely isn’t a loser, you are Dwight Howard, you’ve never won a game of tic tac toe… Kobe has 5 rings, instead of being a crybaby and demanding things how bout you run the damn pick and roll with Nash and Gasol, or respect the teammates that have already done more than you… Where was his humbleness, hustle, and teamwork that he was lauded for, he played like a bytch last year point blank the Lakers will always be Winners… Dwight will always be in search of a winning situation.

  5. aboogy123456 - Sep 26, 2013 at 6:43 PM

    his best shot at winning this season is with Houston, that’s right, but his best shot at winning multiple championships was clearly in LA.

    With Harden making max, dwight making max, parsons earning a raise next year, and lin and asik both making $8.5 million, they are a very good team, but they don’t have a lot of room to improve. The lakers in 2014 would have kobe and pau at affordable team-friendly contracts, and a ton of cap space with no bad contracts so that they could attract all the highest quality role players to round out the roster.

    If Dwight wants to sell us that the decision was all about winning, then he was way too short-sighted.

    • kinggw - Sep 26, 2013 at 7:58 PM

      By your estimation in 2014 the Lakers would have a 36 year old Kobe, a 34 year old Pau, and some second tier guys like Granger. That team even with Howard is a middle of the road team in the West. They weren’t/aren’t getting a top tier free agent like LBJ or Melo, so why are you so convinced they were going to win?

      Im getting tired of Howard talking like everyone else, but if he really is trying to win, he made the right choice. The new CBA means teams like the Lakers cant just sit around and wait for guys to become free agent. More small to mid market teams will be keeping their superstars in house. I’ll bet the Lake Show’s best chance to grab a premier free agent is when Love and Westbrook become free agents in 2015 and 2017 respectively.

      • cjvangin - Sep 26, 2013 at 8:34 PM

        kobe> harden
        pau> parsons
        deng> asik the 4th best player

        so no a team of farmar, kobe, deng, pau, and howard is better then a team of lin, harden, parsons, ?????????????, and howard.

  6. azarkhan - Sep 26, 2013 at 6:50 PM

    “…but I want to win.” Another dagger in the hearts of Laker fans. LOL.

  7. antistratfordian - Sep 26, 2013 at 6:50 PM

    Lakers fans might be a handful, but their penchant for delusion has declined dramatically in recent months. These days Warriors fans are more overbearing. So I don’t think the refreshingly realistic Lakers fan base of 2013-14 is going to be too upset about Dwight’s comments here.

    • asimonetti88 - Sep 26, 2013 at 11:21 PM

      The amount of people on this website that pay more attention to fanbases than the teams themselves honestly shock me.

      Root for teams, not fans. Who gives a f* about fans?

      • antistratfordian - Sep 27, 2013 at 3:06 PM

        See, this is what I’m talking about… another salty Lakers fan. This one here is particularly sensitive.

        Look, we interact with other fans on a daily basis – one cannot help but to make these observations. It doesn’t mean we “pay more attention” to fan bases and less attention to teams. I pay attention to everything. Nothing escapes my notice.

  8. losanginsight - Sep 26, 2013 at 6:54 PM

    She didn’t think he could win? Sounds like a winning mentality to me. Who talks through “people”? Fern Troyer is mentally stronger than her. Have fun watching turn overs in the post and missed free throws Houston. She wants to win but left a Finals appearing team. Then joined an orginization that has 16 Banners and a history of great centers. She wants the ball but joined a team with a bigger ball hag than the 5x Champ. She really doesn’t want to win. She just wants to have fun.

  9. malvaren18 - Sep 26, 2013 at 7:05 PM

    Howard is not Shaq, this guy needs a reality check

    • kb2408 - Sep 26, 2013 at 7:19 PM

      Dwight is a slightly better defensive player than Alonzo Mourning and not as good offensively. He would’ve gotten eaten for breakfast by Shaq.

  10. kb2408 - Sep 26, 2013 at 7:14 PM

    He will win in Houston….a lot of regular season games. But they will never win a title. In the end, Dwight will have left money on the table to play for a franchise no one outside of Houston cares about and still will not have a title. Houston will be a slightly better version of Orlando. Yes, Harden is better than anything Orlando had when Dwight was there. But “good” and “elite” are two different things. It’s left to be seen which catagorie Harden belongs in. We already know Dwight is “good.” Let’s see how Harden responds with the spotlight on him. Last time he played on the biggest stage he came up shorter than mini-me. And Dwight has never handled pressure very well. Wait until he realizes Harden and Lin are almost bigger defensive sieves than Kobe and Nash were last season. The biggest difference is Kobe and Nash are in the twilight of their respective careers, Harden and Lin are still young and they suck defensively.

    • cjvangin - Sep 26, 2013 at 8:39 PM

      and howard no longer wants to play pnr so he is hurting his team

  11. classyswaggy08 - Sep 26, 2013 at 7:28 PM

    He won’t win a Championship! Howard is good but if Durant, Westbrook, & harden couldn’t win it all what makes anyone think that harden & Howard will?

  12. kb2408 - Sep 26, 2013 at 7:29 PM

    If he “truly” was about winning, he would’ve forced a trade to Chicago before he got traded to the LAKERS. The Bulls wanted to pair him with Rose but Dwight wanted no part of it for much of the same reason he didn’t want to play in L.A., he didn’t want to be second fiddle to Rose. Just like he didn’t want to be Kobe’s sidekick. The thing he doesn’t understand is his skill set is not worthy of “go to guy” status. If he would’ve bought in to Chicago it would’ve been perfect for him. They have a defensive minded coach and are the best defensive team in the league. Just imagine Rose, Dwight and maybe Noah. That trio may not have scared many teams offensively but defensively they would’ve been dominant. Dwight should’ve said, “I left because I want to win…AND be the man.”

    • adamsjohn714 - Sep 27, 2013 at 12:15 AM

      There is no scenario where he forces a trade to chicago and Noah isn’t part of that trade.

      • kb2408 - Sep 27, 2013 at 12:32 AM

        You may be right. But considering what Orlando ultimately got for him, IDK.

      • gmsingh - Sep 27, 2013 at 7:49 AM

        Previously Howard had said, “Winning in Orlando was tough, but I wanted to move to L.A.”

  13. paulhargis53 - Sep 26, 2013 at 7:48 PM

    KB, but last year you were saying how great Howard was….now he’s a worse version of Alonzo.

    Typical idiot comment from you. Great when he’s on your team, just another guy when he’s not. Loser, you haven’t gotten any smarter in a year have you?

    Weren’t you supposed to be off this site lakerluver? You weaseled out on a bet. Shows what type of person you are.

    That’s ok, you can continue to prove your basketball ignorance daily. That’s way funnier anyway.

  14. glink123 - Sep 26, 2013 at 8:12 PM

    Yeah… really must be painful for Howard to not have the money. How will he ever survive?

  15. musician0785 - Sep 26, 2013 at 8:49 PM

    if u think shockexchange is a laker fan your a moron…. how bout them Celtics tho…..lottery bound

  16. lakerade - Sep 26, 2013 at 9:17 PM

    Howard’s biggest memory of the Lakers, the lasting impression, was not from last season. It was the 2009 Finals, hence his personal association between the franchise and the inability to win.

  17. sw69ca - Sep 26, 2013 at 9:51 PM

    What is he going to say when his contract run out in Houston and without championship?

  18. sw69ca - Sep 26, 2013 at 9:54 PM

    D Howard used the Lakers to get out of Orlando and he knew then he won’t be in LA more than a year, that was his plan but he won’t admit it.

  19. klownboy - Sep 26, 2013 at 10:30 PM

    Uh, by tough if he meant “so easy a caveman could do it”, then yeah – it was tough for Howard to elave LA…

  20. papichulo55 - Sep 26, 2013 at 11:06 PM

    It’s very telling that Howard STILL feels that he owes somebody an explanation! Stop talking about the Lakers, please. You made your choice. No more excuses Now just show us what you got.

  21. lhollis74 - Sep 26, 2013 at 11:47 PM

    You know, one thing continues to catch my attention when Howard speaks. Even when the drama in Orlando first started, he said he wanted to win, but he intentionally every time omits the word “championship” from the statement. I truly believe he chose Houston because he feels he has the star power and cache to unseat Harden as the face of the franchise. Remember, he initially wanted to go to Brooklyn, would he have won a title there? Or was he more interested in being the face of the Nets? I think it’s the latter.

  22. scbaby2013 - Sep 27, 2013 at 12:35 AM

    Glad he’s gone. Now LA can move on and hopefully he can too.

  23. asublimeday - Sep 27, 2013 at 3:55 AM

    Once again, you saying Lebron’s image has bounced back isn’t true just because you say it’s true.

    I have a diverse group of friends who are fans of a variety of teams. We all drink different beers, and our wives are a variety of colors, sizes, and levels of hotness.

    One thing we all agree on is our hatred of Lebron. What a turd.

  24. mannyicey - Sep 27, 2013 at 5:44 AM

    verb: marinate; 3rd person present: marinates; past tense: marinated; past participle: marinated; gerund or present participle: marinating

    soak (meat, fish, or other food) in a marinade.
    “the beef was marinated in red wine vinegar”


  25. ripistons - Sep 27, 2013 at 5:55 AM

    Lol Dwight , it really amuses me how you turn the table and try to make peace with everyone :)

    “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.”

    What, so he sacrificed to win ? It seemed like he wanted to get away from LA because he wasn’t the man there and he was unhappy with the coach, Kobe and the board. Shortly, with everyone. L.A. Lakers and Houston Rockets have about the same chance of competing for championship without Howard on board, so he’s acting like he has moved into a championship caliber team like OKC, Spurs or Miami is just stupid.

    ” It would have been great to have that stuff, the money and all that stuff, but I want to win.”

    He just wants everybody to know that he left L.A. because he’s a winner and he wants to win now. He’ll never be a mature guy I guess. Dwight doesn’t know what he’s saying or doing. Totally unconcious. Just trying to flatter everyone with his statement saying that LA was great but he only left there to win, because he’s a winner. Who believes that bs ?

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