It's no secret that if Dwight Howard was going to stay with the Los Angeles Lakers, he needed to the main man. Back in early July, reports surfaced that Howard secretly went to the Lakers front office that if he would only stick around if the Kobe Bryant era came to an end. Now, it looks like Dwight's demands went a little further than that.
According to Ric Bucher, Howard would only remain with the Lakers if:
- The team fired Mike D’Antoni
- The team used their amnesty or muzzled Kobe Bryant.
Throughout the season, it became clear that D'Antoni wasn't the right coach for Howard's post-up style of play. Mike liked to run up and down the court and DH flourished with a team more focused on creating half-court sets. So, we understand that request. As for the other one, amnesty or, as Bucher puts it in The Hollywood Reporter, "or at the very least muzzle" Kobe? We understand that Bryant can be a difficult guy to play with but c'mon man. Later in the piece, the Lakers' VP of basketball operations Jim Buss said. “Dwight didn’t want to play with Kobe for 2-3 more years...I’m going to stand behind Kobe because of his history with the franchise.”
As people have said time and time again, Howard doesn't exhibit enough mental toughness to gut it out in a big market, like Los Angeles and with a franchise such as the Lakers. It's OK, though, it looks like Dwight found a perfect fit in a less volatile market in Houston. Maybe things will be better this time around. Or, maybe we will all finally see that the problem all along has been Howard himself.