When it comes to Dwight Howard and the Los Angeles Lakers, everyone seems to have an opinion.
Steve Nash had some issues with Howard on the court Sunday night and Howard thinks teams are targeting his torn labrum. Last week, Kobe Bryant said that the team “didn’t have time” for Howard’s shoulder to heal. Then Dwight Howard Sr. spoke up in his son’s defense.
Just another quiet few days in Lakerland.
“I told him before he said it publicly, ‘It’s your career. No person can say what you need to do or not do. You can’t worry about what Kobe or anybody else says,’” Dwight Howard Sr. told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Nobody can say what Kobe said — that’s stepping into another man’s shoes. I understand what Kobe was trying to do, but he went about it the wrong way. He’s trying to win a championship. But Dwight has to tell Kobe, ‘I appreciate your opinion, but that doesn’t matter. We’re two men on this team. We need to be reasonable about this.’”
Dwight Sr. might have been on to something, though, when he placed the blame for the Lakers’ struggles at the feet of Coach Mike D’Antoni.
“The problem is the coach. [He] needs to step in and say, ‘You guys have got to be quiet. We’re trying to secure something here. Dwight is probably looking at the coach, thinking, ‘What are you going to do?’ I promise, if that had been Stan Van Gundy [Howard’s coach in Orlando], that wouldn’t have happened. [Howard] wouldn’t have been admonished publicly. I think the coach has a lot to do with who controls Kobe’s mouth right now.”
Well, throw out that part about Orlando, where Van Gundy ended up, ahem, fired. Still, despite all the problems in L.A., Dwight Sr. doesn’t see his son leaving as a free agent, even though he hasn’t had an easy time of it. “L.A. has been like humble pie for him,” he said. “When you go from being the man in one city to second or third tier, it takes a toll on you mentally.”
His son chose not to elaborate on his dad’s comments. “I’m not going to get into it,” Howard said Saturday, the day before the Lakers tripped in a game against the Miami Heat. “My dad is a grown man. If that’s how he feels, then we’ll leave it at that. I’m not going to get into it.”
Maybe Howard should take up the piano…like Kobe. The “Moonlight Sonata” can be very soothing.