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Dwight Howard explains in detail his reasons for leaving Lakers to join Rockets

Sep 29, 2013, 11:00 PM EDT

Houston Rockets Introduce Dwight Howard Getty Images

Both the Lakers and the Rockets have opened their training camps for the upcoming season, which means the summer’s drama involving Dwight Howard and his free agent decision is now officially behind us.

At media day in Houston, Howard made the cold but realistic statement that he left the Lakers because he wanted to win — something tangible that went above and beyond the emotionally-charged points about not getting along with Kobe Bryant, not liking his fit in Mike D’Antoni’s system, or not being comfortable with the championship-level pressures of playing in Los Angeles.

Howard expounded upon his reasons for leaving, and if you set aside all of those intangible arguments, it’s tough to say he didn’t make the right decision.

From Sam Amick of USA Today:

“A lot of people say, ‘Well, if you would’ve waited a couple years, then this could’ve been yours (with the Lakers),’ And I’m like, ‘In a couple years, I’m 30,'” Howard said. “I don’t want to wait. I’ve been in the league 10 years. I don’t want to wait for things to happen. I want to be aggressive, to make things happen. And I’m looking at all these young guys who are just ready, and they’re missing one piece. And I’m like, ‘I could be that piece, and I don’t want to miss my chance.

James Harden doesn’t come by every 10 years. It doesn’t happen. It’s no knock on other players who I played with, but you’re talking about all these guys who are young and are going this way, going up, so I’m like, ‘Man, this is a great spot for me. A great town, great organization.’ They’re going this way (points up).”

“Other teams have more history, but yesterday’s scores don’t win today’s games,” he said. “You’ve got to look at the now. What’s in the now? What can we do now? Nobody cared about what I did eight years ago, they want to know what I can do now, and it’s the perfect team for me.”

If you’re one of the people that feels negatively about Howard over the way he’s carried himself the past two seasons, then you should go read the entire interview. Howard comes across as level-headed and focused, and even explains his feelings about how the news of his decision came out — which is fairly amusing, considering he’s complaining about it to the man who broke the story.

Howard makes salient points, and the reality is that anyone who watched his interactions with his teammates last season knows that despite all of the injuries, Howard was never a good fit in Los Angeles. No matter how things play out in Houston, it’s already clear he made the best personal decision possible.

  1. boltsup - Sep 29, 2013 at 11:12 PM

    Good for you loser… Now keep the Lakers name out your mouth

    • apkyletexas - Sep 30, 2013 at 1:39 AM

      Taking your fanhood a little too seriously there pal. I think its pretty fair to say that Howard doesn’t owe anything to your team or your city. In fact, he carried that sorry team to the playoffs last year despite his painfully injured back and shoulders – which is a lot more than most players would bother to do given the way he was made to feel incredibly unwelcome by the players and coaches.

      • money2long - Sep 30, 2013 at 9:52 AM

        kobe carried them. not dwight.

      • asimonetti88 - Sep 30, 2013 at 11:35 AM

        I’ll give Dwight this. He played very well in the last couple games of the season to wrap up the 7th seed. But Kobe is definitely the one that got them in that position to even have that chance.

        But yeah, hopefully once the season starts we can stop talking about his time with the Lakers. I’m tired of hearing about it as a Lakers fan because it is in the past. I realize he is asked questions about it and isn’t bringing it up on his own, but he could always utilize the Bill Belicheck press conference method and just ignore it.

      • shapeshifter24 - Oct 2, 2013 at 12:10 PM

        I’m happy he’s out of LA! houston, guess what?! you have a problem! LOL.. a big non free throw shooter problem! I will tell you this, if james harden, with KD, and my man RUSS can’t make it work in OKC! i’ll be damn, if he’s gonna make it with D12, chinese kid and dat white dude!! nuf said!

    • qadrir - Sep 30, 2013 at 11:32 AM

      You’re the loser. Any good athlete who wants to win will echo Howard sentiments. Lakers are bad and will remain pathetic for season to come. Good on Howard to go with his guts and not listening to so called sports pundits who’re nothing but leeches and live on scrums of likes of Lakers, Knicks.

      • alinep2576 - Oct 2, 2013 at 9:20 AM

        First of All, Rockets are the Losers!! Cmon Rockets will NEVER WIN any CHAMPIONSHIPS and NOT any time SOON! Let’s be realistic!! With WHO?? Howard Nd WHO?? Please give me a break!! I am willing to bet my Electrical Engineering Yearly Salary on it, that Rockets WILL NOT WIN a Championship this season!! Also Lakers is going to SPANK THEM! Listen Kobe already proven himself with 5 championships already!! How many does Howard has?? BIG ZERO!! ROFLMAO.. HEY even Michael Jordan just said couple months Ago that Kobe is a better player than even Lebron James! Listen to the pro, he knows what he’s talking about!

        Let’s not kid ourselves!! Howard was not about winning a championship and going to a team that helps him win! ON THE CONTRARY He couldn’t even do what he needed to do to win some stinky games!! Are you kidding me!?! He had all the chances in the world to prove everybody wrong and show the whole world what he can do when Kobe Bryant went down last year! What did he do?? BIG CHOKE! LOL And if he was all about winning; what better team than the Lakers because they have the experience, the Resume with 16 CHAMPIONSIPS. All Howard cared about last year was, when was Kobe going to retire. He Asked Mitch NUMEROUS TIMES if he’s going to let Kobe go so he can sign with thebteM. At first Howard asked if Mitch was willing to let Kobe go after the next season ended, than he asked if they bare going to waive Kobe because the injury!! COMMON!! Rockets got slappy seconds and the dirt that Lakers didn’t want!
        First of all basketball is a team play! Howard was NEVER a team player! He didn’t want to win games nor did he wanted to get along with Kobe. Let’s be fair; if the roles were reverse and Kobe went to Orlando Magic, will Howard like it if Kobe asked every other day when they would get rid of him?? OF COURSE NOT! Also If he was so much into winning, why wouldn’t he want to do whatever possible to win with Kobe? Everybody know that Kobe is Argubly the BEST Guard in the NBA!! than you add Palo Gasol, Steve Nash, Wold Metta Peace and so on. The only reason we did not win last season is because Howard was the biggest LOSER! He went to a mediocre team that won’t take him anywhere! Just like the big guess about the Lakers last year, and Howard managed to screw that up QUICLY! IT WILL BE THE SAME THIS YEAR FOR HOWARD! I can BET YOU ANYTHING YOU WANT! Lakers will have A BETTER SEASON THIS YEAR WITHOUT HOWARD ( THE DRAMA QUEEN) WORD!! Anyone that hates the Lakers are just haters of the Game! Listen you got to give it credit where is due, and we all know that Howard doesn’t get any! All that mumbo jumba with Howard leaving songs can win is all BS! He said straight up that he wasgoing tto stay if Lakers would of got rid of Kobe. If he knew what was best for him, he should have helped Kobe and begg to be on his team! Could you imagine the record they could of had given that Howard would of been the basketball player he claims to be?? He would of become a LEGEND! Now he is going to pass like that loser Charles Barkley without any rings and just talk. That is the TRUTH! WORD!

  2. norcal031 - Sep 29, 2013 at 11:26 PM

    “Other teams have more history, but yesterday’s scores don’t win today’s games,” he said. “You’ve got to look at the now. What’s in the now? What can we do now

    Ouch, that is basically saying the Lakers are old news like Ashley Banks album. Which they are. Unless the NBA does its voodoo magic again they are in for some long bad years. LeBron ain’t going to LA……..KD ain’t going anywhere. Who wants to play for the most delusional fan base?

    • lhollis74 - Sep 29, 2013 at 11:34 PM

      NorCal, so you believe every great player thinks the same as Howard? And no one wants to live and work in Los Angeles, you’re the one that’s delusional. Kobe will be gone soon, and all it takes is one player to begin something big. In a few years you’ll be hating us for our success once again, mr. NorCal. Safe to say you’re a Sac Kings fan,lol?

      • antistratfordian - Sep 30, 2013 at 12:06 AM

        Well with Kobe on the team, yes, every player in Dwight’s specific situation would think the exact same thing. What #1 pick franchise player wants to waste two years of his prime waiting on a stubborn old guy to retire? You won’t find any.

      • adamsjohn714 - Sep 30, 2013 at 12:43 AM

        Actually, studies conducted on free agency strongly indicate that the main factor in choosing a new destination is the chance to win. Weather, the appeal of the city, etc, are not as important.

      • Kurt Helin - Oct 1, 2013 at 2:27 AM

        Money always wins, it is by far the biggest factor (until a guys is deep in his career, then winning matters more).

      • money2long - Sep 30, 2013 at 9:54 AM

        that stubborn old guy happens to be respected by the game’s elite. fans go overboard with this guys hate playing with kobe. not too many people can do what kobe can and they understand that.

      • borderline1988 - Sep 30, 2013 at 11:09 AM

        Feel free to name me one star player who played on the Lakers in the last 15 years who has NOT complained about playing with Kobe.

        Kobe is a legend, but face it – these last few years will be Favre-ish. Kobe will never relinquish ownership of this team while he’s still in the NBA. The problem is two-fold:
        1) younger stars don’t want to sign with the Lakers while Kobe is still around
        2) the Lakers won’t get any high draft picks with Kobe on the roster

        I admire Lakers’ fans dedication to Kobe, but there’s no question that they’d be better off without him. The Packers won a Super Bowl because they were able to make that tough decision with Brett Favre.
        Success usually doesn’t happen as fast in the NBA (as opposed to the NFL), but the more years you wait, the longer away it is…

      • cmehustle - Oct 1, 2013 at 6:44 AM

        Lol!!! Even the Faker fans know they wont be competing for a few years. Good luck with that. In the meantime Howard and Harden will be competing in the West for the top playoff seeds.

    • davesmall1 - Sep 30, 2013 at 5:14 PM

      Exactly correct.

      The Lakers are the new Bobcats.

    • alinep2576 - Oct 2, 2013 at 9:39 AM

      Was never about him waiting for couple years! If Howard was a tiny bit as good as he claims to be, he could have won now or even last year! He didn’t needed to wait any years to do it. Howard is a big.joke and HUGELY OVERRATED!! He could have proven himself when Kobe went down last year, but HE CHOKED MISERABLY!! That’s your typical Howard, All talk and no action! Watch this year and learn! Watch how Lakers will beat the crap out of the Rockets, and watch how much better Lakers will be without Howard! Is just as playing with Michael Jordan; You don’t go say that you couldn’t win with Jordan because it’s his fault!

      Lakers had BY FAR a better season the year before without Howard! Also he said himself that he always looked up to Kobe and asked Kobe for advice before to what should he do to improve his game! Than when he made it non the Lakers them he was nothing but a BIG JOKE! Always smiling and joking around when the team was losing non stop! Hey I give Kobe credit for keeping Howard on check!! They get paid WAY TO MUCH money to mess around every game. Guess what? If he was that good, he should have done his job, go up with about 30 points a game, than he could have sit down and joke all he wanted!
      And you do go ask every day when is the Franchise going to get rid of Kobe just so he can play. He got paid to do a job that he failed MISERABLY!! Also why would the Lakers get rid of a player that PROVED HIMSELF over and over again by winning 5 championships, and breaking NUMEROUS other records like 81 points and game and so forth? For.who?? A guy that his last team didn’t even know how best to get rid of him? What records has Howard ever break?? How many championships has Howard ever won?? That’s right! He’s OVERRATED! Nothing but talk, and I Guarantee that Houston will be another dissapointment and than he is going to try coming back to thenlakers in about 5 years from now, but by than he will be past news and no good anymore. Mark my words and THAT IS A PREDICTION! WORD!

  3. detroit20iron - Sep 30, 2013 at 12:06 AM

    Norcal is an idiot

  4. lemfax - Sep 30, 2013 at 12:15 AM

    New NEWS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. ranfan12 - Sep 30, 2013 at 12:17 AM

    Lol I’m not even focused on dwight leaving anymore. I’m not gonna bs and act like I didn’t enjoy seeing him play when he wasn’t fouling out and getting stripped in the hole. Managed to deal with all that and somehow manage 18 and 10. That’s not bad at all. Gonna have to do something better than 18 and 10, because there are no more excuses when you have Hakeem basically as a mandatory resource now.

  6. Anoesis - Sep 30, 2013 at 12:24 AM

    The spin boy at work. Must be prepping for a political career. Howard used L.A. to get out of Orlando. He knew what the Lakers’ situation was, yet now he’s claiming he wants to win now. The Lakers are guilty of thinking they could change a rental’s mind, but at least they didn’t have to give up much of anything to find out Howard never had any intention of staying.

    I usually look forward to the season’s start because I like basketball. Now I’m just waiting for the tipoff so we can stop hearing any more of Howard’s excuses. Good riddance, good luck, shut up and play.

  7. alqj24 - Sep 30, 2013 at 12:50 AM

    My thing is, why does Howard want his own team? Why couldn’t he work with Kobe to win? MDA pointed to this on media day, that certain players (hint hint, he wore #12 for Lakers last year) will “do whatever it takes”, but only if they’re the focal point, and get the ball where they want it, and do things how they want it done. Why the selfishness? Kobe wants to be the man, yes, but how come in the Olympics he deferred and didn’t try so hard to be the man, but rather what was needed to win?

    The bright lights were just too much, which is crazy considering Kobe was there to take off the heat. Plus, injuries, bad timing, etc, etc, just made last year a mess. Anyways, new season always gives hope for any team. I’m looking forward to what the Lakers do. And if they struggle for a couple of years, why do people make it seem like it’s the end of the world? Sometimes it just happens.

    • antistratfordian - Sep 30, 2013 at 1:13 AM

      One does not simply “work with” Kobe on the Lakers. You either do what he wants you to do, and do it happily, or be miserable. Those are your options.

      I don’t know of any other prime star player in Dwight’s situation who would want to put up with that. It’s not worth it. Playing with Kobe can suck the life out of you. Plus, if you like having fun while dominating – as guys like Dwight and Magic and Shaq and LeBron do/did – then playing with Kobe is always going to be a major drag.

      • mytthor - Sep 30, 2013 at 1:26 AM

        It’s getting tiresome to read your posts presuming you know exactly what’s in the head of everyone in the NBA. Unless you can post a link to a picture of yourself having a beer with Kobe Bryant and his psychologist, how about just keeping your mouth shut?

      • antistratfordian - Sep 30, 2013 at 1:27 AM

        Then don’t read them, mytthor. Problem solved.

        Run along, now.

      • gra42 - Sep 30, 2013 at 3:01 AM

        Mythor: Have you ever played a team sport? Have you ever watched one of your squad toss up 25-30 per night, miss too many of them, and then blame other people instead of adjusting and setting up others when the shots don’t fall? Doesn’t take a shrink to figure out what that’s like.

    • gra42 - Sep 30, 2013 at 2:30 AM

      Why not work with Kobe? Because he’s done, but the Lakers aren’t interested on making him play less minutes or trading him for someone they can instantly get production from. In other words, they can’t red the writing that was on the wall a year ago, and they don’t seem to see it now. Doing “whatever it takes to win” means getting out of L.A., not beating your head against the wall and watching the washed up team leader call his own number 30 times per game instead of letting the other guys develop their critical timing and execution.

  8. sw69ca - Sep 30, 2013 at 12:52 AM

    what is he going to say after he spends however long in Houston and and doesn’t win a title?

    • antistratfordian - Sep 30, 2013 at 1:14 AM

      What difference would it make? He’s not winning anything until LeBron retires anyway.

      • money2long - Sep 30, 2013 at 9:58 AM

        lebron will not keep winning titles over and over. its getting annoying the attitude lebron fans hav that his team is indestructible. be realistic. his team is not perfect. i keep hearing all the, no one else will win til he gets old or retires. stop it. or u’ll be in for a rude awakening. all im asking is to be realistic and stop this invincible talk. don’t make me call dirk.

      • antistratfordian - Sep 30, 2013 at 3:04 PM

        Let me tell you something… it’s hard to be “realistic” with LeBron because he is not human. One cannot overrate him. However good you think LeBron is, he’s better than that. And this applies to everyone – even people who already think he’s better than Michael Jordan. It applies to even me. We’re all going to end up surprised.

      • davesmall1 - Sep 30, 2013 at 5:18 PM

        Miami had a great deal of difficulty vs Indiana, a team with strength in the paint. No team will be stronger in the middle than the Rockets.

      • antistratfordian - Sep 30, 2013 at 5:34 PM

        Miami had no difficulty against Indiana in game 7. That difference is not going to change.

        The Rockets have to get out of the West first in order to pose a problem to Miami. They might be able to do it. But then the same problem remains for them as it does for every team facing the Heat: LeBron can stop your best scorer, but you cannot stop LeBron.

      • ocgunslinger - Sep 30, 2013 at 9:04 PM

        Anti…first thing you’ve ever said of your thousands of posts that I agree with. Keep it up.

  9. calkeefer - Sep 30, 2013 at 12:53 AM

    Houston is due for a big disappointment. An overrated 6″10″ inch pivot man with no offensive skills that can’t hit free throw. A max paid gunner that didn’t even start for his previous team and a point guard that ranks among the bottom in the league. If Howard even plays, Houston is a 6 seed at best. The rebuilding Lakers will finish with a better record. Although both teams will be eliminated in the 1st round. Howard wined about Kobe hogging the ball, but Hardin is the only player in the league that took more shots than Kobe but made fewer. Chuckin up jump shots is Hardin’s only game. Howard disappointed Orlando fans and Laker fans . Houston is next.

  10. alqj24 - Sep 30, 2013 at 12:54 AM

    One more thing: what if he was the missing piece the Lakers needed to take on a lot of work? How come he didn’t go to his strengths to the benefit of the team bc of an ego that says he needs to be a back to the basket guy? Dwight never tried hard in LA.

    • antistratfordian - Sep 30, 2013 at 1:17 AM

      Kobe has no genuine sense of teamwork. That’s why. Even when Kobe is passing a lot, it’s for selfish reasons (to get 10 assists). No one wants to deal with guys like that.

      If Kobe would’ve approached last year’s Lakers like he did Team USA then Dwight would still be in Los Angeles. But Kobe didn’t do that and will probably never do that.

    • gra42 - Sep 30, 2013 at 2:41 AM

      Theirs sing piece was Kobe not shooting the ball 30 times per game. Didn’t matter what Howard did do or can do. L. A. Is going nowhere with Lobe as the floor leader. When he was younger and those shots fell, and he could penetrate and defend consistently, maybe Dwight would’ve had a reason to stay. But with so many bad decisions in terms of personnel like keeping Kobe in most of the game and their signing of the even older Nash, there’s no reason to article with a coach whose similar approach in the past has gotten nowhere Dwight hasn’t been already.

  11. timb12 - Sep 30, 2013 at 1:26 AM

    He was the guy and had his own team in Orlando. I really think that the Rockets will be Harden’s team and Dwight will be his sidekick. Either way I hope they figure it out and get some wins, but Howard has proved to be pretty unpredictable.

    • antistratfordian - Sep 30, 2013 at 1:36 AM

      I think Dwight and Harden are going to be a great 1-2 punch. The question of whose team it is isn’t going to matter too much as long as both eat well. And Harden isn’t like Kobe where he’s going to come out on media day and say “This is MY team, there is no ‘we share'” – so that’s already a major positive.

      • thetooloftools - Sep 30, 2013 at 1:57 AM

        Howard couldn’t carry Kobe’s jock strap.

      • money2long - Sep 30, 2013 at 10:00 AM

        kobe never said, i don’t share. stop perpetuating that.

      • antistratfordian - Sep 30, 2013 at 2:18 PM

        “I don’t want to get into the, ‘Well, we share …’ No, it’s my team.” – Kobe Bryant, Media Day 2012

      • money2long - Sep 30, 2013 at 10:04 AM

        phil jackson said kobe is very willing to let guys do them, until they are not aggressive with the ball. that is when he does his thing. kobe said dwight had many chances last season to do what he wanted with the ball. kobe has many brilliant passes in his highlight reel, however, because people see his high point totals, they give this idea he is selfish. same thing with any true scorer. it’s a stigma. phil jackson knows kobe was willing to pass. if guys get passive, kobe, one of the game’s most confident and best scorers in history, will have no problem taking his shot. he won’t blink. that is when his teammates look like they don’t want to shoot or indecisive. also, kobe is very intelligent. he knows when he has it going. see his many 50 point games. iq says, give it to the hot hand, and many times kobe is a mismatch problem. who can stop him when he has it going like that?

      • antistratfordian - Oct 1, 2013 at 4:01 PM

        Dwight was playing injured last year. He was playing when he probably shouldn’t have been because he felt he owed Los Angeles something.

        Kobe only passes if passing will garner him more recognition. He doesn’t do it naturally. He has said more than once that when he gets the ball he gets blinders on and he is not very adept at being a quarterback. Stating the obvious.

    • gra42 - Sep 30, 2013 at 2:33 AM

      He had nothing in Orlando like what Houston has brewing right now. That team did as much as it could, but when they got to the title game against the lakers, they got exposed. Then they turned around the next year and made no positive changes.

      • timb12 - Oct 1, 2013 at 10:34 AM

        I agree that this situation isn’t like one he’s been in before, but from his track record he has an ego. I hope it works out. I’d love for him to embrace his role as the big man and clean up around the rim, but he’s liable to complain about touched. Winning does solve everything though.

    • gra42 - Sep 30, 2013 at 2:49 AM

      So what if he’s a sidekick? That may be the whole point, and what it takes for him to shine as a big role player instead of a savior for a group of guys who can’t pull their own load. I don’t think Dwight will care if his team-mates shoot all night as long as they fall and the business gets done at the other end. Dwight isn’t an offensive mastermind like Russel, Nash, or Kidd, and I’m guessing he knows this at this point in his career. His game is to body up at one end and rotate occasionally (easy to figure out where on the Rox, they move their feet and pick up faster than most teams) and clean up with dunks at the other. In that sense, he has to hope the other guys pull the trigger often, because that’s what he does best anyway. If Rodman had boarded a little less and shot about twice as much, that’s Dwight’s game and he’ll take it.

  12. 00maltliquor - Sep 30, 2013 at 1:47 AM

    “A lot of people say, ‘Well, if you would’ve waited a couple years, then this could’ve been yours (with the Lakers),’ And I’m like, ‘In a couple years, I’m 30,’” Howard said. “I don’t want to wait. I’ve been in the league 10 years.”

    …So he goes to James Harden’s team, who’s an even younger player? HOU will never be his team as long as Harden’s around. 2 years or never, hmmm…seems like if he wanted to be The Man staying with the Lakers would have been the way to go. He’s forever 2nd banana now.

    • antistratfordian - Sep 30, 2013 at 1:58 AM

      Howard is a #1 pick, 3x DPOY, 7x All-Star. Harden has 1 year in the league as a starter. I don’t think Howard is concerned about who has more clout.

      • 00maltliquor - Sep 30, 2013 at 2:12 AM

        Yes sir, I’m aware of the accolades. However, it IS Beard Harden’s team. Not Dwight’s.

        “(Dwight) may have more history, but yesterday’s (accolades) don’t win today’s games (and make him the team’s #1 star player),” he said. “You’ve got to look at (who’s getting it done) now. (Who’s) the now?”

      • antistratfordian - Sep 30, 2013 at 2:35 AM

        Cute. But Harden doesn’t have ANY accolades. If the Rockets ever win anything it will be because of Dwight Howard’s defense.

      • gra42 - Sep 30, 2013 at 2:53 AM

        Harden doesn’t have any other accolades besides stepping up and playing well in a finals when the guy in front of him, Westbrook, should’ve gotten less minutes or fewer shots. And for the first time in his very young NBA career, Harden has an actual NBA center instead of power forwards masquerading as 5’s.

      • antistratfordian - Oct 1, 2013 at 4:03 PM

        “Harden doesn’t have any other accolades besides stepping up and playing well in a finals…”

        Wait… what!? Are you from bizarro world? Harden vanished completely in the finals. His disappearing act was the reason why OKC wasn’t more competitive.

      • 00maltliquor - Sep 30, 2013 at 2:57 AM

        3rd pick in the draft, All Rookie 1st team, 6th man of the year, All-Star…c’mon son! Harden took a team of half-decent players, made them look nice and finally got HOU out of the hump and made them a playoff team. Don’t get it twisted my dude.

      • antistratfordian - Sep 30, 2013 at 3:09 AM

        Mike Miller has more accolades than that. Try again.

      • asimonetti88 - Sep 30, 2013 at 11:39 AM

        “Howard is a #1 pick, 3x DPOY, 7x All-Star. ”

        He’s also the #2 option on his own team.

      • antistratfordian - Sep 30, 2013 at 2:15 PM

        What option was Bill Russell?

        What matters more than anything is that there isn’t a player on the Rockets as difficult as Kobe.

      • asimonetti88 - Sep 30, 2013 at 3:07 PM

        “What option was Bill Russell?”

        Did you just compare Dwight Howard to Bill Russell? smh

      • antistratfordian - Sep 30, 2013 at 3:42 PM

        No, I asked you what option Bill Russell was. I am sure you are intelligent enough to appreciate why (scoring isn’t everything). I gave you the benefit of the doubt, at least.

        But you are a Lakers/Kobe fan so your entire basketball theology revolves around who is scoring the most points.

      • asimonetti88 - Sep 30, 2013 at 10:01 PM

        It’s not about scoring, correct. Being the number one option is about more than who has the most shots.

        Harden will be the leader of this team.

      • antistratfordian - Oct 1, 2013 at 12:49 AM

        I don’t think anyone is necessarily concerned about who is going to be what option. You don’t have to be the #1 option to run a team anyway.

        I haven’t seen much in the way of overt leadership from Harden. He’s a laid back guy that just goes out and plays. He isn’t vocal, he isn’t fiery, he isn’t demanding and as far as I know he’s never complained about anything either. He’s more of a lead by example player – and there isn’t anything wrong with that, but it leaves a lot of room for other leadership styles to come in and take hold.

        Enter Dwight. He’s naturally more vocal and more outgoing – he was praised for taking the vocal leadership role in Orlando – and he should fall naturally into a leadership role (or a share of it) just because he has so much more experience than everyone else (on the Lakers he was probably the least experienced star). And it doesn’t hurt that he’s still regarded as a top level elite player.

        At the very least he’ll provide leadership on the defensive side of the ball (even if only by example), which is probably more important than anything.

    • Emmanuel Altenor - Sep 30, 2013 at 10:31 AM

      Howard is in a much better situation. He was never going to be the man in LA with Kobe around, even if he deserved it. Kobe just had too much clout for that to happen. You can’t be mad at Howard for wanting to be “the man” or wanting a clear franchise direction on the Lakers when Kobe is near retirement.

      There was too much uncertainly in LA. Whether he wins or not, Dwight is in a place where there’s direction for him and where he can actually win.

      • 00maltliquor - Sep 30, 2013 at 2:02 PM

        I’m not mad, I’m glad he went to HOU. I like him much better there. I’ve been a Lakers fan and Rockets supporter my whole life. I never really “lost” him.

        All I was saying in response to his response was that if being “The Man” was the reason he left, he sure as hell picked the wrong team to accomplish that. He didn’t want to wait 2 years, but now he has to wait ’till Harden gets injured, traded or retires to be The Man. 2 years>never, you know…if that was his major reason to leave, you feel me.

      • Emmanuel Altenor - Sep 30, 2013 at 2:07 PM

        Howard is going to be the man in Houston. He’s too dominant. Still, he’ll enjoy playing with Harden much more than Kobe.

      • 00maltliquor - Sep 30, 2013 at 2:24 PM

        Until he realizes that Harden takes close to as many shots as Kobe…

        KB 9.5/20.4, .463%
        JH 7.5/17.1, .438%

      • Emmanuel Altenor - Sep 30, 2013 at 2:39 PM

        A full three shots less. Dwight is not a dominant scorer, so that won’t play a huge factor. He and Kobe’s issues had to do with ego.

      • 00maltliquor - Sep 30, 2013 at 5:15 PM

        3 full shots, yes. But once you go past 14/15 attempts a game it’s pretty much all the same. At least Kobe makes more of his attempts. Dwight’s issues also had to do with his limited role in the offense and touches. It will play a HUGE factor in HOU because he WANTS to be that dominant scorer, as he fancies himself as “The Man”.

      • Emmanuel Altenor - Oct 1, 2013 at 5:55 AM

        There’s no difference between 15 and 16 field goals. JR Smith shot 15 field goals per game last season. DeRozan shot 15 field goals. Klay Thompson shot nearly 15 field goals. And those guys don’t have close to the role Harden had with the Rockets last season.

        Dwight had issues with the offensive system, not Kobe’s shooting in particular. It’s widely known he was lost in D’Antoni’s system. If you’re saying Dwight can’t play with Harden, you’re saying he can’t play with any other star in the league, because Harden didn’t shoot the ball all that much last season for a first option.

        Dwight has said he wants to be a dominant scorer to improve his game, and he wanted an increased role in the Lakers’ offense, but he’s never been obsessive over taking all those shots. If he was so obsessive about it, why didn’t he do it when he had the franchise in his hands in Orlando?? The highest number of field goals he averaged in Orlando was 13.4. Far from the player you are describing.

      • spthegr8 - Sep 30, 2013 at 6:09 PM

        Your dropping some serious KNOWLEDGE today homie. Good work!!

      • adamsjohn714 - Oct 1, 2013 at 2:23 AM

        yet somehow is a more efficient scorer. Harden and Dwight are going to feast at the FT line.

      • 00maltliquor - Oct 1, 2013 at 11:33 AM

        Dude seriously…lol! I don’t even know where you’re going with this at this point. You’re going so far off the main point from where this convo even starting from that I’m lost! But I’ll entertain it…

        Your first paragraph…what does that have anything to do with the price of tea in China? -What??- Exactly!

        2nd paragraph…Harden and Howard are going to be a lethal combo, I’m nowhere close to saying they can’t play together! But Harden shot the ball on ave. 17 times! How’s that not first option shooting!!?? Put down the stem my friend.

        3rd paragraph…Far from the player I’m describing? What am I describing? That he wants the be the main guy? He was the main guy in ORL. And what’s the point you’re trying to make with the 13.4 FG attempts? Answer me this, who shot more? And you do realize he got an excellent coach in Van Gundy fired, right? Enough said.

      • Emmanuel Altenor - Oct 1, 2013 at 12:55 PM

        @Malt, your reply makes very little sense. If Dwight was so hellbent on shooting as much as you say, he would’ve shot more than 13.4 field goals in Orlando when he had the perfect opportunity to.

        “2nd paragraph…Harden and Howard are going to be a lethal combo, I’m nowhere close to saying they can’t play together! But Harden shot the ball on ave. 17 times! How’s that not first option shooting!!?? Put down the stem my friend.”

        You already claimed Dwight left the Lakers because he thought Kobe shot the ball too much (meaning he could not play with Kobe). If you say he will have the same problem in Houston since you think Harden dominates the shots just as much as Kobe, you are essentially saying that Harden and Dwight won’t be able to co-exist. Keep track of your thoughts.

  13. papichulo55 - Sep 30, 2013 at 1:49 AM

    If they had hired the right coach, things would have turned out differently.

  14. thetooloftools - Sep 30, 2013 at 1:54 AM

    He’s a Clownboy. He likes to joke around and is NOT a leader of men. Nobody respects him because he has no heart. NONE. Houston is just another pay check for him. Now he can play when he feels like it again.

    • money2long - Sep 30, 2013 at 10:06 AM

      kobe definitely respected bynum’s personality more. so sad injuries forced the lakers hand into dealing the player they inherited through the draft.

      • 00maltliquor - Sep 30, 2013 at 2:07 PM

        True that. But man the Lakeshow pulled the plug on AB JUST in the nick of time! I love ‘Drew man, and I wish him the best, but if we woulda stuck it out with him we may have just had an Amare Stoudemire/NYK sized problem that would have been fatal to the franchise for at least half a decade.

  15. Emmanuel Altenor - Sep 30, 2013 at 6:35 AM

    Can’t really blame him. One would normally say the Lakers are the Lakers, so they will bounce back quickly, but Buss Jr. is no Buss Sr. Howard made the smart decision instead of waiting around for Laker management and Kobe to decide when to move on from that era.

    • money2long - Sep 30, 2013 at 10:09 AM

      people keep saying the spurs should move on from their era. they came pretty close to winning last season however and continually rank high in season win totals. it aint about age or eras. just find the right pieces, and get cohesion. kobe is as good as any player in the game. things were just a mess last season.

      • Emmanuel Altenor - Sep 30, 2013 at 10:17 AM

        There’s no comparison between the current Lakers and Spurs. The Spurs have great talent, chemistry and a great coach. The Lakers do not. The Lakers are a circus. If the Lakers are lucky this coming season, they will make the playoffs, and then get bounced in the first round. The Lakers weren’t just a mess the last season, they are a mess for the foreseeable future. At least until they usher in a new era.

  16. bigzant82 - Sep 30, 2013 at 9:37 AM

    all these lakers fan are crying we goin be bad for the enxt coupple years umm
    here’s question what were ya before shaq and kobe where there not every good you didnt set the world on fire with elden campbell and eddie jones ans nick van exel all good teams all apart sooner or later it will be for the lakers,knicks and maybe the heat 1 day so deal with

  17. galdar30 - Sep 30, 2013 at 10:28 AM

    Lakers need to go ahead and start that rebuild phase.

  18. kb2408 - Sep 30, 2013 at 11:37 AM

    Who cares? He can have fun in that “little town”, spend his millions on new toys and smile all the way through the rest of his career, which will more than likely end without him ever winning a championship. Yeah, he will probably be a HOF’er one day but he’ll also be remembered as the dude that couldn’t cut it in LAKERLAND, couldn’t stand the pressure of possibly becoming the first and only LAKERS “franchise” center to not lead them to a title, AND left millions on the table to boot.

  19. mightbegoingtohellforthis - Sep 30, 2013 at 12:49 PM

    He didn’t want to share the spotlight (and shots) with Kobe. Good luck playing with James Harden and Jeremy Lin.

  20. scbaby2013 - Sep 30, 2013 at 2:14 PM

    Glad he’s gone. Hope he never wins a ring

  21. dmaninmoval - Sep 30, 2013 at 8:16 PM

    Let me get this straight:
    Playing next to the ONLY guy in the league who has more then TWO championship rings on his hands is a bad thing??? Howard by all accounts is not and I repeat, is not an offensive center period. PE (Patrick Ewing for all the youngsters) could score, Dream could score, The Admiral could score, Jabbar could score, The Chief could score,…Shall I continue? Let’s face facts, he is overhyped and Howard is not going to win a title because he is not “that guy”. If he was, I am pretty sure he would have gotten one in Orlando. He should feel pretty confident as there are no centers in the league anymore to contend with. They’re actually power forwards playing that position. If he was against true big men he would have his a*& handed to him every night. . Playing next to that guy in LA was his last shot. I am no Laker fan as I bleed Celtic green even living in SoCal but a winner is a winner and Kobe is hands down…

    • adamsjohn714 - Oct 1, 2013 at 2:44 AM

      playing next to Fisher (a few rings I think) didn’t really help Durant much…. The Lakers didn’t lose because of mindset, chemistry, guys who can’t hack it in LA, not having enough will to win, etc. They lost because their good players (kobe, nash, pau, dwight) played injured or missed games due to injury, limiting their effectiveness. Pretty much everyone else on the roster was below average.

  22. mydoghasfleez - May 24, 2014 at 7:34 PM

    “Why Howard left Lakers”……..WTFC?!!!

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