Dwight Howard may see his trade to the Los Angeles Lakers as the way he finally escaped the Orlando Magic. But someone who has made that move before says the challenge is just beginning.
"The pressure that he has been feeling in Orlando has just multiplied by three now," said Shaquille O'Neal, now a TNT analyst and formerly the Magic's young star until he went to the Lakers, where he won three titles. "The first thing the great Jerry West did when I signed with the Lakers is he walked me into the Forum and told me to look up. He showed me all the great big men that played before me and how many championships they won."
O'Neal has shared disapproval of Howard before. He has scoffed at Howard's production, called his play inferior to that of Andrew Bynum — the big man Howard is replacing in Los Angeles — and shown displeasure with Howard taking his "Superman" mantle.
But O'Neal's advice on joining the Lakers may not be all bad blood, as O'Neal did make the same transition from small-market Orlando to the high expectations of Los Angeles, where he played for eight years.
"The Lakers have a tradition of having great big men," O'Neal said. "[Howard] has a lot of work ahead of him. If he thinks the Orlando Sentinel was on his case when he didn't perform, guys like [Los Angeles Times columnist] Bill Plaschke, they don't play."
O'Neal said Lakers fans will be just as demanding.
"The first year they are going to love him," O'Neal said, "but the second and third year, if they don't win, he will be back to square one."
It looks like this game is just getting started.
Photo of the Day
As only Mark Teixeira can look.
Quote of the Day
"This is a perfect opportunity for me because every other time when I've done my show, everybody has a real job."
— Hank Haney, on why Michael Phelps will be a good fit for his Golf Channel show, The Haney Project
Tweet of the Day
Yeah, Usain Bolt. Can't you beat Forrest Gump?
When Usain Bolt beats forest gump in a 100m dash, I'll be impressed.
— Ghetto Translations (@GhettoToEnglish) August 12, 2012
Video of the Day
Most of us are tired of hearing Dwight Howard's voice. But when he imitates Kobe Bryant, it's pretty funny.