No matter what the rest of the world thinks here in L.A. we have but two demands of our Lakers. The top priority is winning. We don’t care how you do it. The only numbers that appear on banners are years not style points.
Secondly we ask that you respect the shirt worn by the greatest to ever play the game with pride. Sure, there will be moments of madness that every player goes through during a grueling season that will make us question their dedication. I still can’t make my peace with Andrew Bynum’sclassless act in Dallas last year. That will never sit right with me. But at least dude has been working his tail off ever since he came into the league knowing full and well that being a Laker great put you in the conversation with the all-time greats.
That’s exactly why Dwight Howard has no business ever putting on a Lakers jersey. Like my outspoken and often right-on-the-money counterpart Carlos Sandoval points out Howard already knows he’s not fit to be a Laker.
Howard isn’t driven to be a champion. He wants to be Hollywood but he’s afraid of the spotlight. He’s LeBron James with an inferiority complex. He’s a player that wants the accolades of a winner yet doesn’t want to do whatever it takes to win.
To his credit even LeBron made the modern day sacrifice that is giving up individual glory for the sake of gaining a ring. James might have made the best decision in the worst way possible but in the end the bottom line speaks for itself.
James, like Kobe Bryant, drew a line in the sand. He demanded the tools necessary to win a title and took whatever means possible to do so. I don’t like the approach but, again, the banner justifies the means.
Then we have Dwight Howard, the diva that dared to pull on Superman’s cape. He cloned Shaq’s act in Orlando and now that he’s got the chance to take another step in the path O’Neal blazed he asked to be traded to…New Jersey? Seems Howard would rather go to a franchise where there are no banners or retired jerseys to overshadow his massive ego than play for a team that demands greatness.
But that’s just fine by me. Kudos to Howard for knowing his limitations. So many aren’t as self aware these days.
Howard knows he’s not Lakers material. He’s not meant to share the stage with a demanding great like Kobe. He can’t handle a fan base that isn’t impressed with stats and individual accomplishments. He’s still not ready for primetime and he knows it.
So to anyone disappointed in Howard’s indifference towards being a Laker just know he’s done us all a favor. Best of luck trying to create history in Queens or Staten Island or whatever borough the Nets are moving to. Howard did the Lakers a huge favor by showing his true colors.