As we all know, Dwight Howard is no longer a Laker. Dwight has signed with the Rockets to be partners in crime with James Harden, Chandler Parsons and Jeremy Lin. Many Laker fans are disappointed by Dwight’s decision, but Laker fans need to be realistic; Dwight was never going to sign, not if Kobe was still around. His choice of heading to Houston has the potential to be a horrible career decision.
First, we must acknowledge the Lakers attempt at keeping Dwight. The Lakers begged Dwight to stay. And beg is the correct term to use here. With an already big ego, Dwight’s ego grew even more as the Lakers took to covering Los Angeles with the #StayD12 Campaign. The organization covered billboards, hotels, and even took out an ad in the Los Angeles Times. It crazy to see a dominant franchise so weak. Yes, weak. The Lakers looked more vulnerable than ever. I have never seen an organization take the time and money to do this. And with their pride at stake, Kupchak did not want to sign and trade Dwight. Thus, losing a possibility of at least reloading.
Okay, now why is this a bad decision? Dwight is still the second best superstar on the team. During his stint with the Lakers, Dwight was number two to Kobe. In Houston, Dwight is second best to James Harden, a far less established player in the league. In order for Dwight to win, he will have to be THE superstar on the floor. The offense must run through him. Majority of the offense in LA ran through Kobe, this will be a fact until Kobe decides to retire from the league. The offense in Houston is built around James Harden, a superstar in the making, but not a player I would say is a make all end all to gain a championship. When LeBron decided to join the Miami Heat, he joined an already Championship Caliber player in Dwayne Wade. Dwight is joining Harden, a runner-up, come to think of it, just like him.
The part I cannot fathom is his disregard of the Lakers history of big men. Kareem, Wilt, Shaq, and Mikan. If you’re a big man and you want a franchise to build the team around you, the Lakers are the best team to trust. All of these big men are legends and champions in their own right. I feel that Dwight was not patient enough to wait 3 years for his chance. Kobe is on his way out, there is no denying that, and he is the type of player to relinquish his role of the go to player to win another ring. Kobe will still be the go to scorer, however, this allows Dwight to learn how to play below the basket and compliment guards the Lakers would have brought to LA. Shaq and Kobe worked, so why can’t Kobe and Dwight work? Shaq was an athletic force to be reckoned with down low. Dwight has shown his spurts of greatness down low, while having a lot of fun. Shaq is the same type of player, fun, outgoing, and strong; Kupchak would ensure that the same type of play would happen again.
I saw Dwight signing with another team coming, but as a Laker fan, I still feel a little betrayed. Backstabbed by Dwight. The Lakers traded for a dominant big man to build the team around, suddenly, he’s gone. I even feel that Dwight is taking some revenge over the Laker fans by paying for Houston fan’s breakfast and taking pictures with his new teammates. I must say it is very childish on his part. But is Dwight ever wants to win, he will either have to learn how to become a role player or find another team that will make his the franchise player. I’m sorry but Houston…you have a problem.