Dwight Howard traded to the Lakers!
Dwight Howard will be out until January.
Dwight Howard set to return towards the end of preseason!
Dwight Howard not effective in the Princeton Offense.
Dwight Howard should do much better in Mike D’Antoni’s offense.
Dwight Howard and Kobe Bryant almost come to blows.
Dwight Howard and Kobe Bryant dispel rumors of fight with a lighthearted picture.
Dwight Howard not happy in D’Antoni system.
Dwight Howard ready to step up.
Dwight Howard sidelined with a shoulder injury.
Dwight Howard needs to play through his injury, but won’t.
Dwight Howard will play through shoulder injury.
Dwight Howard needs to rest his shoulder during All-Star break.
Dwight Howard mocks Kobe Bryant during All-Star break.
Do any–or all of these–look familiar? Does anyone notice a trend?
Obviously, Dwight Howard has been the topic of discussion all season long, mainly because he, as well as the Lakers, have struggled.
Has it all been warranted, though?
Yes and no, probably.
Howard has taken lots of heat from the media and fans for remaining noncommittal to the Lakers, and for not appearing completely tuned in when out on the court.
Some of that is definitely warranted, and is quite possibly his fault.
However, I feel that a lot of it has been overly blown up in the media, and in turn affected Howard’s level of play.
There have been numerous reports, and many of them may hold some truth, but most are probably blown way out of proportion.
In either event, Howard has continued to at least say positive things despite the reports.
For example, just yesterday there was a report that Howard was unhappy in Los Angeles and wouldn’t be opposed to a trade.
However, when asked about it, Howard had this to say:
“Listen, I never said anything about none of this stuff. So, if anybody has a report or anything they say about what’s going on, if it’s not from me, then obviously it can’t be true. I’m not going to let this situation defeat me.”
Then, according to Lakers Nation’s Serena Winters, when asked about the difference in roles between L.A. and Orlando on the floor, Howard answered with a somewhat off-topic response:
“I have to do whatever I can to make this team win…as a team we really have to figure this out. We have to keep whatever happens or whatever we talk about between us, we cant allow anything to separate who we are as a team and sometimes we’ve done that but we have to do a better job of keeping it in house but also at the same time realize that the only people that can control our destiny is us.”
Then there was obviously the report that Dwight mocked Kobe in the Western Conference All Star locker room behind his back over the weekend in Houston, and when Kobe entered the room, he acknowledged everyone in the room except Howard.
Before biting into that one–as I did the one where they almost came to blows–I thought about it for a bit.
It’s All Star weekend, Dwight Howard is a jokester, and he may have simply been clowning on his highly esteemed teammate in front other All Stars. He knows that all of the guys in that locker room have great respect for Bryant and that it would probably get back to him if he was doing or saying anything disrespectful.
Then I wondered about the whole Kobe not “saying hello” to Dwight thing. Maybe Kobe had already seen or talked to him earlier in the day? Did whoever reported that story find out those details too? I doubt it.
There have been plenty of reports similar to that, and typically Howard addresses them and either owns up to them and/or provides some positive words on the matter–albeit in a subdued manner.
Who’s really telling the truth, though? Who do we believe; the media or Dwight Howard?
I can’t really say because I–as mostly everyone on the outside looking in–simply don’t know and don’t have the facts.
In either event, it seems as though every little detail pertaining to Dwight Howard is getting leaked out into the media and being turned into some kind of story.
Personally, I’m tired of hearing about it and I’m sure many fans are as well.
As a writer, I’m tired of trying to analyze all these little instances as I obviously have; even in this article.
At the end of the day, the responsibility falls on both the media and the players. The pundits, analysts, and writers need to be careful of what they report, and quite frankly, stop talking about miniscule details when the main story should be about the Lakers’ play and not the drama surrounding it.
However, because this is Hollywood, that’s not going to happen.
Therefore, Dwight Howard is correct that he and his team need to keep all of these stories–whether it’s a dispute with a teammate or an unhappiness about the offensive system–as “in house” as possible.
If it does stay “in house,” then perhaps some of the distraction will fade away and the team will start focusing on what really matters–winning ballgames.