Kobe And Howard Argue In Front Of Team; Howard Wants Out
It's just amazing how poorly this has worked out.
HoopsVibe Very Quick Call: The Lakers are a trainwreck that keeps having new accidents.
With the NBA trade deadline less than a month away on Feb 21st, the grumbling about Dwight Howard getting traded is growing every day. Sure, it obviously hasn't worked out, but how much of these rumors are spurred on because of the way Howard acts on and off the court.
On Wednesday before an eventual loss to the Grizzlies, Mike D'Antoni called a team meeting to "clear the air".
During the meeting, Kobe admitted that he can be difficult to play with at times, and asked Dwight Howard, in front of the team, if he had any problems with him and if he did, to speak up and get it out now. Howard reportedly said nothing, choosing to remain seated and shake his head. Another report indicates that during the course of the ensuing game, Howard was on the bench complaining about lack of shots, so a teammate brought Kobe over in an attempt to work the situation out. But Howard said nothing to Bryant when he had the chance.
"I hope it is (a positive thing)," said D'Antoni about the meeting. "That's the purpose of just trying to move forward, and hopefully it is. We'll see. We're in a rut right now, so the time to stand up, draw a line in the sand would be now."
The one lingering question in this waste of a season is, how different would this have been if the Lakers had actually hired Phil Jackson- how much of a difference would that have made? Hindsight is always 20/20, but what if they had given Mike Brown a few more weeks- how much worse/better would they be?
While the trend of stars joining the same team and forming a "big three" like the recent Celtics, Heat and even Lakers championship teams has paid immediate dividends for most teams involved, things couldn't have worked out and worse for the 2012-13 Lakers. But has any team ever sported such a collection of extreme egos?
They have a guy named Metta World Peace on the team. They have Howard, who acted like a complete baby for at least his last two yeas in Orlando. Kobe, ah, Kobe. Complete egomaniac which makes him such a great player, but less than a great teammate, ask Smush Parker. They have the Spanish enigma Pau Gasol who no one can get motivated. And Steve Nash- does he care more about his new "LA" flop haircut? Maybe it's because of injuries but he just hasn't seemed engaged at all at any point during the season.Has anyone seen Antawn Jamison? The fact that two formerly productive vets like him and Gasol can't get motivated or even get any minutes tells you how bad the coaching is.
How much worse would the Lakers be if Howard was gone? How much worse could they be, period? For all of his superior physical attributes, Howard wilts every time the pressure gets turned up, he's done it now for two different organizations.If the Lakers trade him, they will get less than he was worth when they acquired him. If they keep him, his stock falls even lower and his production continues to decline.
Now would be a great time for the Howard PR machine to put out another "Loyalty" t-shirt.
Image Credit: Creative Commons