Free agency doesn’t begin until July 1st, but it’s already commenced for the Los Angeles Lakers this season as there is already talk of where Dwight Howard might end up this summer.
Similar to previous times in Orlando, the rumors and speculations haven’t ceased circulating throughout the media and around Los Angeles. Five teams have already emerged on the scene as destination possibilities for Dwight Howard; however, logically, the Houston Rockets appear to be the most probable team for him to join.
Seemingly, Los Angeles is a much more desirable destination than Houston, but this isn’t necessarily the case for Dwight Howard. It’s debatable as to whether Dwight even wanted to be in Los Angeles to begin with, because initially he apparently asked to be traded to the Brooklyn Nets. When asked what teams he was considering to join, he had reportedly removed the Lakers from his “list” of teams (they were never his first option); He had hoped to join either the Brooklyn Nets or the Dallas Mavericks.
Why wouldn’t Dwight want to play for the Lakers? The Lakers have always been associated with greatness. Having won 16 total NBA championships, second only to the Boston Celtics, as well as a history of legendary centers in George Mikan, Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Shaquille O’Neal, there seems to be no logical reason as to why a great player wouldn’t want to be a Laker.
Some might’ve looked at that offer and felt honored that such a successful team desired them, and even felt intrigued at the opportunity to continue the legacy – but not Howard. He is aghast by the pressure that comes with carrying the torch, as the strain for excellence is irrefutable. By joining the Brooklyn Nets, who recently moved from New Jersey, the stakes wouldn’t have been so high; moreover, he’d not only have had the opportunity to begin his own legacy, but he’d also have had the chance to win there.
Dwight’s feud with Shaq, who has continually criticized Howard for not being a “traditional” big man, may have played a part in his reluctance to play in LA. Due to the fact that Howard’s offense relies heavily on the pick and roll as opposed to having his back towards the basket and posting up, Shaq jumped at the opportunity to carp Howard for his unestablished ways.
Shaq also claimed that there is no excuse as to why Dwight shouldn’t average 28 points and 15 rebounds in a league deprived of solid big men, but Shaq isn’t the only thing that might’ve scared Dwight away from considering LA: apparently, Kobe Bryant was a hindrance as well.
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