During the contentious period in which each day was filled with new and increasingly impossible Dwight Howard trade scenarios there was one very key sticking point in each deal. Howard appeared reluctant to sign an extension with any team that was not going to be playing pro ball in Brooklyn. For whatever reason Superman II has a serious obsession with BK.
As we all know the Lake Show and Mitch Kupchak snuck yet another high profile trade past the NBA radar landing Howard in Los Angeles for the 2012-13 season. Naturally the same concern remains as Howard indicated he wasn’t going to re-up with the Lakers, instead opting to test free agency once the season is complete.
Hey, I get it. It’s a business move. Howard might have played the fool during his botched handling of exiting Orlando. But that doesn’t mean he is a fool.
Let’s not forget Kobe Bryant tested the free agent waters at one point too knowing all along he was going to be Laker for life. Sometimes it just feels good to be wanted in life and NBA free agency is the equivalent of a 90 minute massage for the ego.
I get why Howard wants to see if the grass is truly greener. He should just know that one year of ball in Los Angeles will assure him that not only is the grass nowhere near as green but a lot of those supposed high profile destinations around the country are sans grass altogether.
Again, Howard is no fool even though he’s played one. He’ll soon realize the historic standing he can take if he helps hang another banner in Staples. Being a Laker is an honor but being a Laker big man puts you in a class reserved for the all-time greats. Howard can be an icon anywhere but only L.A. offers the opportunity to be a legend.
Beyond what the game has to offer, the city of L.A. is filled with every opportunity Howard desired yet could never touch in Orlando. His Q Score will rise overnight just as soon as he takes to court. His earning potential will increase to levels he could have never attained in other cities. He’ll also be privy to meetings, offers and opportunities by proximity alone.
In short he’ll stay in L.A. no matter what the team situation is like. Yes, even if the unthinkable happens and the Lake Show becomes the new Clippers Howard will still be better served staying in purple and gold.
But don’t take my word for it. GM Mitch said as much himself.
“I just think that he’ll feel that this is a special place, that the lifestyle will suit him. It’s a big enough town where you can’t be the sole celebrity, but there are so many Lakers fans here that you don’t lose your celebrity. You can still feel special in a city this big. That’s our approach, and a year from now we’ll see where we stand.”
Kupchak makes the best point of all. Laker fans are among the best in the game and Howard will feel the love each night he plays. All we ask is to honor the jersey by giving all you’ve got every night…oh and a title or three wouldn’t hurt either. In fact, it’s an absolute must if Howard is going to truly walk the trail blazed by previous Laker bigs.
But let’s not put too much pressure on Dwight just yet. He knows expectations are high around here. He’ll soon learn that living up to those expectations will give him all that’s he’s ever wanted from the game and the only place to get it is by being a champion in Purple and Gold. Howard is here to stay…unless we Bynum him out of town that is.