The Los Angeles Lakers have had their fair share of issues this season. While their injuries and inconsistent play have led to a multitude of questions about the team that have largely gone unanswered, it seems an unlikely source — Dwight Howard‘s father — has at least one answer to their latest controversy.
After Kobe Bryant demanded some urgency from his injured teammate, Howard responded by returning to the starting lineup against the Celtics on Thursday night. But that was just the latest episode in the Lakers’ saga that seems never-ending this season. In an interview with the Atlanta-Journal Constitution, Dwight Howard Sr. made it clear that he believes Bryant was in the wrong with his comments.
“I told [Dwight] before [Bryant] said it publicly, ‘It’s your career. No person can say what you need to do or not do. You can’t worry about what Kobe or anybody else says,’ ” Dwight Sr. said. “Nobody can say what Kobe said — that’s stepping into another man’s shoes. I understand what Kobe was trying to do, but he went about it the wrong way. He’s trying to win a championship. But Dwight has to tell Kobe, ‘I appreciate your opinion, but that doesn’t matter. We’re two men on this team. We need to be reasonable about this.’ ”
The elder Howard believes his son, Kobe and head coach Mike D’Antoni need to sit down and address the situation, but states that D’Antoni is also part of the issue.
“The problem is the coach. [D'Antoni] needs to step in and say, ‘You guys have got to be quiet. We’re trying to secure something here.’ Dwight is probably looking at the coach, thinking, ‘What are you going to do?’ I promise, if that had been Stan Van Gundy, that wouldn’t have happened. [Howard] wouldn’t have been admonished publicly. I think the coach has a lot to do with who controls Kobe’s mouth right now.”
The idea that anyone besides Kobe controls what comes out of his mouth is as laughable as the Lakers’ season at the point. With a win over the Bobcats on Friday, the Lakers, at 24-27, are sitting three spots behind the Houston Rockets for eighth place in the Western Conference.