Steve Nash was right, Dwight Howard really didn’t want to play for the Los Angeles Lakers.
The NBA free-agency period is winding down. Most of the big-name players have signed, and a majority of the drama is over. And still I find myself writing about the Lakers on an almost daily basis. Partly because I have to. They’re the Lakers; they deserve coverage. Mostly, I’m just astounded by the amount of BS that continues to come out out of Hollywood. Seriously, it’s incredible.
Latest developments may be the saddest of all—on Howard’s part.
According to Ramona Shelburne and Marc Stein of ESPN Los Angeles, Superman and his people requested that the Lakers amnesty Kobe, or somehow get rid of him:
The Lakers, almost from the moment Howard arrived in August 2012, had gone to great lengths to assure the 27-year-old that they saw him as the future face of the franchise and that the torch would be passed from Bryant to him in short order.
But with Bryant saying publicly just a week before free agency that he was thinking of playing at least two or three more seasons, it was hard for Howard to envision when he would assume that role, sources said.
Amnestying Bryant and shopping Pau Gasol and Steve Nash to teams with salary-cap space would have allowed the Lakers to try to recruit Paul in free agency. But the Lakers, sources said, made it clear the prospect of releasing Bryant via amnesty or simply trying to lay out a finite timetable on the end of his career with the franchise was not under consideration, believing those decisions should and would be made by Bryant.
If this is true—and I don’t doubt that it is because Shelburne and Stein are the business—Howard is a buffoon.
Amnesty Kobe? The Lakers? Seriously?
Seems someone has been taking too many hits from the Metta World Peace pipe if you ask me. Unless of course, this was all a ploy. Maybe Howard isn’t that ignorant, knew the Lakers wouldn’t part ways with Kobe and then understood this was his out. They picked Kobe over him; he had no choice.
Either way, he’s an idiot.
Were this part of an elaborate scheme, I’d be shocked. There’s no point in going through all that trouble just to leave the Lakers and look like a fool while doing so. Had he not asked that and just left, he would have been perceived as less of an imbecile. Hell, he could have flipped the Lakers the bird on the way out and he would have came off more intelligent than he is right now.
Listen, I understand where’s he coming from. I could see how Kobe’s tough to play with. He’s the kind of almost 35-year-old who would ask LeBron James to take a pay cut to play with him, before he would entertain the alternative of himself taking a pay cut.
Some call that arrogance. Really, it’s just Black Mamba confidence. Regardless, no matter how hard-headed Kobe can be, he is the Lakers. Whether you like it or not, he has five rings, and bleeds purple and gold. That means something. It means everything.
Last time I checked, Howard had zero rings. Los Angeles moved Shaquille O’Neal, who had just as many rings as Kobe at the time (three) in favor of the Mamba. Did Howard really believe he had a shot in hell at pitting the Lakers against Kobe?
If he or his representatives did, they’re morons. Not because they left the Lakers, but because they did it so stupidly. Opening themselves up to another public relations hit like this simply doesn’t make sense. Lodging a demand like this even if there were no outside repercussions makes no sense. This is Kobe we’re talking about. Mitch Kupchak would sooner offer Smush Parker and Kwame Brown max contracts next summer than he would amnesty Kobe. And I’m serious. Dead serious.
Hopefully Howard wasn’t when he asked this. Hopefully it was one of his jokes that no one gets, but we laugh anyway because he’s approximately seven-feet tall and towers like that look goofy just walking down the street.
I for one don’t know how he would have gotten through this with a straight face. There must have been some giggling and school-girl snickering involved. Most of it may have even come from the Lakers side of the table.
Imagine Kupchak and the Buss family listening to Howard and/or his team sling this pile of bull. How do they not burst out in obnoxious fits of laughter? Better yet, how do they not demand Howard has his brain checked out?
Amnesty Kobe. Dream on.
Thanks for the laugh, Dwight. We all really needed it. Maybe next time you can ask Michael Jordan to forfeit a couple of his championships.
Dan Favale is a firm believer in the three-pointer as well as the notion that defense doesn’t always win championships. His musings can be found at Bleacherreport.com in addition to TheHoopDoctors.com. Follow @danfavale on Twitter for his latest posts and all things NBA.