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As Dwight Disappoints LA, Fans Still Have Kobe To Be Thankful For Reviewed by Momizat on . As Dwight Howard picked up his second technical foul in the second half of Game 4 of the first round of the playoffs (in which the Lakers were swept), he showed As Dwight Howard picked up his second technical foul in the second half of Game 4 of the first round of the playoffs (in which the Lakers were swept), he showed Rating:
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As Dwight Disappoints LA, Fans Still Have Kobe To Be Thankful For

Kobe and DwightAs Dwight Howard picked up his second technical foul in the second half of Game 4 of the first round of the playoffs (in which the Lakers were swept), he showed frustration and  the inability to be a true leader and franchise star for the Lakers.

Seconds later, Kobe Bryant emerged from the locker room (on crutches due to his torn Achilles at the time) and Lakers fans roared in appreciation for all the future Hall-of-Famer had done for them over the years. Their true franchise star, champion, and team leader once again did all he could to help boost the Lakers; after literally giving them all he had in his legendary 17th season.

Now, I defended Howard at times, and I’m not going to sit here and berate him fully, but he simply was never up to the task nor the expectations of being the franchise star for the league’s premier team.

Fans may be upset as the best center in the game left them hanging dry, but in all honesty, the lack of passion and commitment he showed Lakers fans last season should give consolation in the sense that with his attitude, he never would have been able to lead the Lakers to a championship once Kobe Bryant eventually retired.

Maybe his attitude will completely shift in Houston and he’ll win a championship over there, but it simply wasn’t in the cards for him here.

Simply put, yes, he’s the best center in the game and a dominant force, but if he wasn’t fully into it or committed, winning anything significant just was never going to be feasible.

It’s the factor that Kobe Bryant alluded to when he explained to Dwight Howard in a “sales pitch” that, “You need to learn how it’s done first, and I can teach you here” and that he needed to listen and learn instead of doing things his way.

Perhaps Howard will one day win after truly learning, or maybe he’ll win doing it “his way,” but as of now, he simply doesn’t have that championship element to him. Maybe it was something about being in L.A., or maybe he just doesn’t have it and never will. Regardless, it wasn’t going to work out for him in L.A. because he never gave it a chance. He always appeared down or frustrated, and didn’t take it upon himself to make the situation better.

Many believe that had the Lakers hired Phil Jackson back in November instead of Mike D’Antoni, Howard would still be here. However, a player who wanted to be the next Lakers superstar would have stayed regardless of the coach, knowing that he would have the power to influence the front office in his favor down the line. In other words, Mike D’Antoni and/or Jim Buss will end up being the scapegoat(s), but it’s not their fault entirely.

I’m sure Kobe wasn’t thrilled with the Lakers choosing D’Antoni over Jackson (he approved of D’Antoni to Jimmy when asked of his preferences, though), either, but you never saw him give up or not willing to try to make it work. Eventually, he stepped up to D’Antoni after the run-and-gun, pick-and-roll heavy offense wasn’t working, and said “enough is enough,” but he always put his head down, went to work, and left it all out on the floor.

As the true leader of the team and proven champion, that should have inspired Howard to buy in as well and alter his attitude about the whole situation, but it didn’t. Or even when Steve Nash–who has made plenty of average big men look like All-Stars over his career–tried to help him out in the system, it should have given him some hope and encouragement. However, the lack of devotion continuously showed on the floor when his body language appeared listless.

Kobe Dunk on Dwight Howard

Some of it can be related to his injured back, which he surely does deserve credit for playing through, as it hindered his offensive game quite a bit.

Certainly, the frustration on the offensive end of the floor wasn’t all of it, though, as he was visually upset on multiple occasions at the lack of defense displayed by his elderly teammates.

In that sense, the move to Houston may indeed be the best move for him basketball-wise as he’ll be matched with younger, more athletic players, and maybe it is the “right” decision for him.

It’s possible that this piece written by a biased Lakers fan is just “sour grapes” from someone who truly wanted to see Dwight Howard succeed in Los Angeles and be the face of the franchise for the the future.

Or maybe, the decision is actually the best move for the Lakers in the long run as well because the greatest franchise in the league deserves a franchise player who wants to be here, wants to take on the challenge of superior expectations, and wants to do literally everything it takes to win a championship–a player like Kobe Bryant.

Perhaps in the near future the Lakers will find that type of star; one who is willing to learn from one of the all-time greats and do whatever it takes to put the City of Angels on his shoulders.

For now, at least, we still have him; the true franchise star of the Los Angeles Lakers: Kobe Bryant.

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About The Author

Suki is a graduate of Cal Poly Pomona and an unsigned contributing writer for Lakers Nation. Follow Suki on Twitter @TheRealSuki and Facebook. You can check out the rest of his work here.

Number of Entries : 181
  • borsalino12

    There is no question, who the true leader of this team is.Kobe is a star from different measurements, Dwight just proved that he can never be that type of leader and you can never really on his words. Many Lakers fans don’t know, he has given his word to the Lakers management that he will stay here for the rest of his career. When you promise something, you have to be a man and keep that promise.

    Lakers fans are now angry and disappointed from his betrial. In a few days, we will realize that, actualy it was a better for us and for our future as a team. Pau and Jordan can play at center for the next 2-3 years, till we find a real leader, a real center and a real franchise player to take over all of the responsibilities from Kobe Bryant. There is several good centers, who are still developing in the NBA. In a few years, they will be ready to take it to the next level, to play for a championship for the Lakers.

    Look at the bright side of the future Lakers fans. We will be strong again. Look at my avatar and you will get the idea what I am talking about.

  • Jim213

    The bandwaggoners maybe disappointed but the long time fans are thankful… for the $118 million it would’ve been a bad return of investment..

  • WC1372

    How quickly we’ve forgotten when Kobe basically quit during the 2006 playoffs vs the Suns and asked to be traded

    • Suki Thind

      I agree that in that Game 7, he was trying to prove a point as critics came after him in Game 6. Even though there was little chance for the Lakers to win the second round, he shouldn’t have tanked that game. However, that was the only instance. As for asking to be traded, I truly believe that it was the biggest bluff of all time. Sure, he was ready to leave the Lakers if they truly weren’t going to put the pieces around him to win, but he thought they were wasting his prime years in order to save a little cash and then rebuild later. There was no way he could’ve been like “Okay, Dr. Buss, I’ll stay only if you put the pieces around me” only to have nothing happen. He had to put the pressure on and Dr. Buss wanted to win, but it made him aware that Kobe wanted to win just as much or more and win NOW. I remember in an interview when the fans were booing, he just said something like “I understand it because they don’t know what’s going on.” In my opinion, he had to put the pressure on and Andrew Bynum’s emergence that season helped him buy in. Then the miracle Pau trade is what really satisfied him, in my opinion. He even admitted that in the meeting, Dr. Buss said “You have to trust me,” and while he may not have done that right away, he certainly did after that. Kobe’s a “win now” type of player, and Dr. Buss had that mentality, but Dr. Buss had to have the bigger picture in mind, and it worked out perfectly. After that, Kobe had the ultimate trust in Dr. Buss and management.

    • ra

      and, Kobe stayed with the Lakers, right? DH didn’t try to bargain at all. Not even an ultimatum. Nothing to bargain with. Just … I’m making a decision — I’ll let you know when it’s just about too late for you to do anything about it.

      Don’t get me wrong, I’m on the players’ side, in general. But decisions not only affect the players, but the people (fans) in the city in which they are playing. It was more of a ‘city thing’. E.g., LeBron jerked the fans around by telling everyone he was ‘contemplating’ a decision. But like DH, had his mind made up.

      Meantime, the city in which he was departing ended up tanking and not being able to recover.

      To be honest, that’s what Kareem did when he left Milwaukee for the Lakers years ago. The Bucks ‘never’ recovered.

      But everyone knew he was going to do that. Nobody except DH and J.A. Adande knew he was definitely going to Houston.

      It’s not cool to jerk around a whole city. Not cool at all. Bad Mojo.

      • Paytc

        Much of what you are saying I can agree with….
        Even if you don’t like it you must respect good decisions.Everyone has made their share of good and bad decisions.Time will tell us all beyond a doubt whether D12 made a good or bad decision.I am sure he was doing what he thought was the most comfortable, and his best decision.I respect and like Akeem as one of the greats.Hopefully Howard is mature and dedicated enough to listen and learn from the wealth of experience “The Dream” has to offer him…..I do wish them well, but not at the Lakers expense.

    • Paytc

      One player, no matter how great, cannot carry an NBA team alone to a championship.
      Kobe let the front office know they needed to bring in some help.Kobe was not satisfied with just individual stats(which he still had many of )he wanted championships.Answer this question…
      What happened after 2006?

      No, let me answer it for you,because you might intentionally get it all wrong.
      Kobe led the Lakers to some more championships.And he’s still not done.
      know one can deny the fabulous legacy Kobe is in the process of building.I’m sure Kobe understands with greatness comes both love and hate.He seems smart and strong enough to focus on all the love.Kobe you are appreciated by so many. We look forward to your fast and full recovery!

  • LAKERS TRUE CHAMPION

    **( Howard just only proved that he’s not deserving to be a leader for any team. especially the great lakers franchise he has no capability to handle his team mate and pressure in his shoulder as well. not a man with his words, when he promised that he will stay as a lakers. there’s a lot of nba players are waiting for that big break to be a face of that franchise but you ignore it!!! lets take lamar odom, bynum and barnes back because they are much dedicated players to be a lakers face than anyone like howard with no “balls”.Pau..gasol for me is the man despite of the pretty rough time of lakers he still there for kobe and for his team lakers!!! kobe + pau +bynum + barnes+ lamar o. + metta w.p= 2014 CHAMPIONSHIP

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