Dwight Howard Wanted Lakers To Amnesty Kobe Bryant

Dwight Howard Wanted Lakers To Amnesty Kobe BryantAs Dwight Howard’s departure from the Los Angeles Lakers moves further into the past, more reasons are surfacing as to why the big man chose to leave Tinseltown. Sources told ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne and Marc Stein that a potentially delayed power shift in Lakers nation helped lead Howard to the Houston Rockets:

‘Future face of the franchise’

The Lakers, almost from the moment Howard arrived in August 2012, had gone to great lengths to assure the 27-year-old that they saw him as the future face of the franchise and that the torch would be passed from Bryant to him in short order.

But with Bryant saying publicly just a week before free agency that he was thinking of playing at least two or three more seasons, it was hard for Howard to envision when he would assume that role, sources said.

The ESPN report goes on to state that Howard’s representatives brought up the possibility of cutting ties with Kobe Bryant in the offseason, saying “Howard’s camp at one point asked the Lakers whether they were at least considering releasing Bryant through the league’s amnesty provision.”


‘Cash-strapped’

Howard had envisioned a potential partnership with Chris Paul over the summer, but the cash-strapped Lakers couldn’t make that happen without some clever manipulation of their financial books. Those possible moves were either stymied by potential trade partners or overruled by the Lakers themselves.

The possibility of the Lakers shedding Bryant’s $30 million-plus salary through the amnesty clause was talked about in the rumor mill shortly after his season came to an abrupt end due to a torn Achilles but never seemed to carry much weight in L.A.’s camp. Howard tried barking up that tree, and in doing so, he helped fuel his exit.

Was signing with the Houston Rockets the right move for Dwight Howard? And what about the Lakers?

Source: Zach Buckley | Bleacher Report

Image: Yahoo! Sports

Phil Jackson Takes A Jab At Dwight Howard For Leaving Lakers

Phil Jackson Takes A Jab At Dwight Howard For Leaving LakersLuckily for the Los Angeles Lakers, Phil Jackson’s word is still law in Hollywood. Dwight Howard left an unfamiliar, jilted feeling in the hearts of the Lakers and their fans when he opted to join James Harden and the Houston Rockets rather than return to Tinseltown.

‘Left a distaste’

The Lakers aren’t used to being cast aside and coming up empty-handed. That’s just not how it works. Typically, they get what they want. This time they didn’t, and as the Zen Master noted on Twitter, Superman has forever left a tainted imprint on those in Lakerland as the result of his departure.

“Reflection on DHoward’s exodus. He left a distaste in Lakerland The Lakers will be fine. Pau fits MDA’s style of Off-it was about the future”

Jackson’s admittance that Howard left a “distaste” in Los Angeles isn’t nearly as important as what follows: He believes the Lakers are going to be fine.


‘Without Howard’

Pau Gasol is indeed a better fit for Mike D’Antoni’s system than Dwight ever was. Not that he couldn’t have been, but he just never embraced the pick-and-roll aspect of Magic Mike’s offense. Pau presents no such issues. When healthy, Gasol is a premier screen-and-roll option. His ability to knock down shots from the inside out is also something that gives him an advantage over most centers, including Howard.

Provided Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash are still healthy and the team finds some shooters, the Lakers can make some noise in the Western Conference. Without Howard. Just as much as the Rockets can. With Howard.

Which of the two teams will be stronger this coming NBA season — the Lakers or the Rockets? Do you agree with Phil Jackson’s opinion about Dwight Howard’s exodus?

Source: Dan Favale | Bleacher Report

Image: NY Daily News