Even though Dwight Howard made his decision to join the Houston Rockets months ago, the rumors about what he wanted in order to stay with the Los Angeles Lakers.
According to Ric Bucher:
“Talks with various people close to the situation make it clear there were two prerequisites for Dwight Howard to remain a Laker: fire Mike D’Antoni and amnesty, or at the very least muzzle, Kobe Bryant. The Lakers apparently asked Dwight to be patient on both fronts for at least another season, telling him “hey, you’re going to have to gut this out another year,” a source said, although it sounds as if VP of basketball ops Jim Buss isn’t ready to abandon Kobe anytime soon. “Dwight didn’t want to play with Kobe for 2-3 more years,” Buss said. “I’m going to stand behind Kobe because of his history with the franchise.” It would seem, then, with all that happened, the Lakers had the wherewithal to keep Howard if they had desired; they simply found the price too high.”
Asking for Mike D’Antoni to be fired, would not have been a first for Howard. He was associated with the departure of Stan Van Gundy, who was Howard’s coach in Orlando. The Lakers are also no stranger to parting ways with a coach based on a superstar’s demands. The thought of the Lakers parting ways with Kobe Bryant after what he has done, and what he has meant to the franchise is a bit harder to believe.
As the season begins the number of continued rumors about Howard and what he wanted from the Lakers will only continue to unfold. The rumors will only get worse based on how well the Rockets play as compared to the Lakers. Here’s hoping that a successful Rockets season puts an end to the “what Howard wanted from the Lakers talk.”