In news that should shock absolutely no one, ESPN is reporting that Dwight Howard did not want to return to the Lakers if Kobe Bryant was planning on staying beyond the 2013-2014 season. A week before NBA free agency kicked off, Kobe Bryant made it clear that he planed to play for two to three more seasons thus making it obvious that it would be quite sometime before the Lakers would be “Dwight’s team.”
“I just really think the timing in L.A., it wasn’t right for me, Mmaybe two years ago, or 2-3 years from now, it would have been the right time. But I just think right now the timing was off for me. That’s not saying that L.A. is a bad place, but I just think it’s all about timing and fit when you’re talking about basketball. You can put anybody together on the court and expect them to win, but the pieces have to really fit in order for a team to be successful and it was very, very tough, man. It’s probably one of the toughest decisions I’ve ever had to make in my life.”
Howard also asked if the Lakers were agreeable to amnestying Kobe, they weren’t, thus making a future in LA undesirable. Add to that the fact he didn’t like D’Antoni’s style of coaching, and Steve Nash’s recent statement, “that the Lakers never had a shot,” was obvious.
“Ultimately, I think Dwight wasn’t comfortable here and didn’t want to be here and I think if he didn’t want to be here, there’s no point for anyone in him being here,” Nash told ESPN LA 710 radio. “So, we wish him the best and move on.”
Ultimately, did the Lakers really see Dwight Howard as the future of the franchise? This same scenario played out back in 2004 with Kobe and Shaq. The Lakers also could’ve kept Dwight with a coaching switch to Phil Jackson. I’m not unhappy that DH moved on, it’s been clear for months he had no connection with the team or city of Los Angeles. But I would like to know what the plans are for the Lakers future. Still looks shaky.
As for DH in Houston, somehow I don’t think Harden is ready to play Robin either. Remember I foreshadowed this next season!