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The Hoop Doctors

Rick Fox Says LA Lakers’ Dwight Howard Has ‘Loser’s Mentality’

dfavale February 12, 2013 Dan Favale 1 Comment

The hits just keep on coming for Dwight Howard and the Los Angeles Lakers.

As Los Angeles continues to teeter between mediocrity and oblivion, plenty of others are taking exception to just about everything that has to do with these Lakers. Set to explore free agency at season’s end, Howard has been the primary target of such scrutiny, a trend that proved no different when former Laker Rick Fox “lambasted” the big man on ESPN Radio in Los Angeles.

Per Janis Carr of the Orange County Register, Fox asserted that Dwight has a “loser’s mentality” and criticized his current lack of championship experience:

I guarantee there were those in Howard’s circle who attempted to warn him of the rigors that came with playing in a Los Angeles-type market, but not even they could have expected this.

His 16.2 points and 11.7 rebounds per game are his lowest totals since the 2005-06 campaign and while his performance has been hindered by injuries, his despondent bordering hostile attitude toward the media hasn’t helped his case.

Frustrations are clearly mounting in Los Angeles as the Lakers continue to flounder. They were supposed to instantly contend for a title, but now they’re left struggling to play .500 basketball. At the root of that issue is Howard, who many believe simply doesn’t have what it takes to win a title.

 

Whether it be questioning his injury or his criticism of Mike D’Antoni’s system, pundits have been unrelenting, and rightfully so. Los Angeles doesn’t need Howard to complain or make excuses, they just need him to play. The state of his back and shoulder is regrettable, yes, but the team doesn’t want to hear about it any longer. Kobe Bryant has played through injuries for nearly two decades, a sense of resiliency and devotion Howard must duplicate if he wants to succeed in Tinseltown.

I’m also inclined to agree with Fox. I most certainly don’t want to hear Howard gripe about the number of shots he takes, because he hasn’t been aggressive enough off pick-and-rolls, his bread and butter. This belief that he needs to get the ball in the paint and post up is ridiculous; he’s not a post up center.

Per Synergy Sports, Howard scores just 0.92 points per possession when posting up, 92nd most in the league. As the roll man off the pick-and-roll, however, he’s at 1.14 points per possession, 14th most in the league. And yet, he’s posted up 364 times this season compared to the beggarly 88 times he’s “rolled.”

Understandably, Howard wants to get his. But he’s not going to “get his” unless he’s willing to do what it takes to actually get it. Adjusting to D’Antoni’s offense would be a start and winning back the public by showing some kind of commitment, and refusal to make excuses, would come next.

Until then, though, Howard is going to be susceptible to criticism such as Fox’s.

While the Lakers will be left to emulate Howard’s mentality as losers.

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.

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  • Marty Susman

    The Lakers NEED to first except they are going nowhere then trade Dwight to the Nets for their first ronund pick, Lopez & an expiring contract…