So, Dwight Howard took his talents to Houston. No… it’s not the glamor franchises of the LA Lakers, New York Knicks, or even the Miami Heat, but it’s a fresh start for Howard to be with new teammates and a new coach that give him the best chance to win. It’s not just the Lakers’ fans that are upset with Dwight for leaving the celebrity hounding franchise, but even the general NBA fans of America are coming out with frustration.
Fans shouldn’t be upset with Dwight Howard one stinkin’ bit because it’s not his fault he decided to leave Hollywood for Texas! Dwight Howard chose the opportunity to go to Houston because he knew that the Rockets would give him the best chance to win. Dwight experienced the worst season by far this year in his career. We knew… when the season ended, that it was going to be a failing project and evidently, we all had the suspicion and the logic to realize that Dwight was not going to stay in LA.
Why would Dwight Howard not want to stay with the Los Angeles Lakers Richie?
Well let me break it down for you…
The LA Lakers are in a state of dysfunction right now because they have a current owner, who has been unable to follow in his father’s successful footsteps. Jim Buss has made some questionable decisions in his first year as head man of that organization. Jim has also been reluctant to listen to players or personnel, who have given him suggestions and choices to make in order for his storied franchise to clearly be ten times better. A reluctant owner is already a turn off to any player!
It started with Mike Brown, who had coached the Lakers to a 1-4 start this last season. Well… for some reason in those 5 games, Jim Buss decided to fire Mike Brown, which caused a slight uproar with the media and the rest of the NBA. Many people believed Mike Brown did not get a fair shot this last season and so naturally everyone was slightly upset… UNTIL a notable name came out of the shadows and placed his name among the candidates to coach Dwight Howard, Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, and Steve Nash.
That name is Phil Jackson! 11-time NBA championship winning coach! Just that alone should guarantee Phil Jackson’s hiring! Am I right or am I right? So with that… please welcome the new head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers… Mike D’Antoni! Mike D’Antoni??? Who’s the genius that hired Mike D’Antoni over Phil Jackson? Oh that’s right… Jim Buss hired him. Both Dwight Howard and Kobe Bryant told Jim Buss specifically to hire Phil Jackson over Mike D’Antoni. Jim Buss ignored their requests and went with his gut instead of his instincts. Recently, Dwight was asked by ESPN anchor Stephen A. Smith “if Phil Jackson was the head coach, would you be leaving?” Dwight responded with the obvious “NO!” This was clearly another problem directed towards Jim Buss.
By the end of the season, Mike D’Antoni and Dwight Howard were clearly not on the same page what so ever. The offense that Mike runs, doesn’t fit Howard’s style of play. The other issue and problem that Dwight has is the fact that Kobe Bryant is on the roster. Kobe is Kobe and he is the best player on that roster with no questions being asked, but Howard clearly doesn’t want that selfish, cocky kind of player playing along side him. Pau Gasol is another problem because the two had trouble spacing the floor, which is was Dwight Howard likes to have. Spacing the floor opens up Dwight to many different options.
The Houston Rockets supplies Dwight with an incredible owner in Leslie Alexander, who realizes and understands what it takes to get to the top. Also, they supply a healthy, young, and star-studded roster that can be developed for years to come, plus the addition of Hall of Famer Hakeem Olajuwon, who was arguably one of the best centers to ever to touch the NBA court. Can’t forget current Rockets head coach and Hall of Fame player Kevin McHale, who practically had hundreds of post moves down in the paint while playing with the Celtics. Olajuwon and McHale will be a huge plus to Dwight’s potential success in Houston. They know exactly what Dwight Howard is going through and they know exactly what he needs. Having that relationship and same identity I think will prove to be wonders for this Hall of Fame mentor-player combination. Mike D’Antoni does not have that Hall of Fame status and it’s weird, but not surprising that this guy alone was really the reason Dwight Howard left LA.
So what are the reasons why fans should not be upset with Dwight Howard?
1. The hiring of Mike D’Antoni
2. An unstable chemistry that D’Antoni could not fix
3. A player neglecting owner in Jim Buss
4. The big and final reason is… Jim Buss himself. His questionable decision making and none feeling for his own personnel will prove to be a huge failure if he doesn’t change.
The franchise is currently lingering under a dark cloud and things need to change starting with Jim Buss. His attitude, decisions, and feelings need to change in order for this franchise to get back to domination. So if the fans should be mad at anybody… it should be the owner Jim Buss for not listening to his own personnel and players.
– Richie Boswell