Wednesday 24th January 2018,
The Hoop Doctors

Dwight Howard wanted Lakers to Fire D’Antoni and Amnesty Kobe

Dwight Howard retrospectively strikes again.

Since spurning the Los Angeles Lakers to play for the Houston Rockets, the reports haven’t stopped. Rumors have surfaced every which way you turn, like he still hadn’t made a decision or something. Only we’re nearly two months removed from his decision. Still, his link to the Lakers has yet to be severed.

The latest—which we waited a few days to bring you so you could let all the other B.S. marinate—has Howard making absurd demands at the expense of Mike D’Antoni and Kobe Bryant.

According to a report filed by CSN Bay Area’s Ric Bucher, Superman wanted the Lakers to fire D’Antoni and amnesty or “muzzle” Kobe:

Talks with various people close to the situation make it clear there were two prerequisites for Dwight Howard to
remain a Laker: fire Mike D’Antoni and amnesty, or at the very least muzzle, Kobe Bryant. As audacious as that might sound, it doesn’t come without precedent in Lakers’ history.

The Lakers apparently asked Dwight to be patient on both fronts for at least another season, telling him “hey, you’re going to have to gut this out another year,” a source said, although it sounds as if VP of basketball ops Jim Buss isn’t ready to abandon Kobe anytime soon.

“Dwight didn’t want to play with Kobe for 2-3 more years,” Buss said. “I’m going to stand behind Kobe because of his history with the franchise.” It would seem, then, with all that happened, the Lakers had the wherewithal to keep Howard if they had desired; they simply found the price too high.

Talk about feeling entitled.

Just as there’s always a shred of truth in every rumor, you can usually detect a bit of embellishing as well. That much of this comes from Jim Buss himself, however, kind of limits our ability to disprove it. Though I would never attempt to dismiss this as anything other than fact anyway, because I believe it. I’ll stop short of saying it’s so Dwight Howard, but it’s most certainly keeping in theme with the whole ordeal.

If it’s true (it is), then Howard has some balls on him. Demanding that the Lakers fire Magic Mike is one thing; attempting to control the future and/or will of Kobe is another thing entirely.

Did he honestly think the Lakers would grant him either of his two wishes? Like seriously, he had to realize how absurd they were. Los Angeles was never going to pick him over Kobe. Not right now, at least. Had he rode out the next year, then maybe the Lakers would’ve made it clear to Kobe next summer that Dwight was running the show. But to tell them they needed to amnesty or muzzle him? Get real.

Dwight really must not have wanted to play for the Lakers, because no one in their right mind would make such implausible requests. Not-so-deep down, he had to know that, when push came to shove, the Lakers would bid him farewell before messing with Kobe. Even an injured Kobe. He had to know that, because I know that. And you know that. We all know it.

Plenty of people will use this to fuel the “Dwight Howard is shamelessly selfish” label he’s bestowed upon himself, and that’s fine. But when you really think about it, and I mean really think about it, this seems more like a plausible deniability type of thing. Now Howard can say he would have stayed with the Lakers if they met his his demands, when his demands really couldn’t be met by anyone who knows how to conduct business.

Whether he wanted Kobe (and D’Antoni) out doesn’t matter now. The deed is done. Howard is in Houston and the Lakers chose Kobe over everything. Just like Howard himself had to know they would.

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 in addition to Follow @danfavale on Twitter for his latest posts and all things NBA.


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  • derel

    1. Think not signing Dwight based on everything was right for Lakers. Weak support cast and someone that cannot shoot free throws and has limited offensive ability made this a no-go.
    2. Lakers are hamstrung by Kobe. No way LBJ goes to LA with him there. Carmelo and Kobe…talk abouit a cluster F&*K.
    3. Jim Buss is an idiot and Mitch Kupchak is no Jerry West. Lakers are done for next 5-7 years!

  • Marty Susman

    I agree with half of his demand. Fire the coach…

  • Ed

    In my opinion, only Phil Jackson could’ve made this work… but if you recall, management went to Kobe 24hrs before their selection for a new coach. Remember, the fans wanted Phil and even Phil himself thought he would be the coach and was ready to accept. No one wants to say Kobe is the reason they didn’t bring back PJ… but its true. Kobe stated the next day that he was excited about playing under Mike D. Kobe made that happen and Phil knows it… but nobody else wants to say it.
    Kobe is a very good player indeed, but not great. To me, the great ones make an effort to share the ball and make the other players better. Jordan was an offensive nightmare but, he was considered great until he shared the ball and made the other players better. Kobe’s the most selfish player I can think of. Remember now, he ran Shaq outta town. I just don’t believe another superstar is willing to bring his talents and deal with all that. I also think only LeBron or Chris Paul could survive it. (MELO stay away from LA )
    Regarding DH and Kobe, personally I think Dwight Howard was being reasonable in his request. Mike D was probably one of the worst coaches available for that job and never should have been hired. I also don’t see anything wrong with him asking to have Kobe muzzled. Think about all the negativity brought on by Kobe’s repeated comments. Being talked about to the media, in the papers and all. Would you people like to work everyday with someone that lashes out at you to the public ???
    Do you ever think about how uncomfortable that could make someone… how difficult it could be to perform well under those conditions… who wants to deal with that when you have enough pressure to begin with. Kobe should have spent more time working with Howard to better their play together instead of criticizing him to the world. How is Howard wrong here in asking them to muzzle him… How ??? Cause Kobe earned a right to do as he pleases… give me a break.
    Here, let me slither through 4 players for this hoop and take the next 7 shots so all can see how great I am. This is my team, my show and my house. The great ones make others better Kobe.

  • orlando

    are you insane or are you out of your mind DWIGHT?how many championship you have compare to KOBE?HUH??? yes you are 3 times defensive player of the year but that is non sense.improve your free throw first before you demand…