This morning ESPN is reporting that the Los Angeles Lakers have turned down numerous Dwight Howard trade offers, especially in recent weeks.
The article says that the Lakers are holding firm – for now – because they’re still confident that they can re-sign Howard after the season. But how long will that feeling continue? With the debacle in L.A. growing worse every day, and Dwight’s visible frustration getting worse by the minute, we’re quickly approaching moment before the trade deadline hits where things get so bad, Lakers management might just have to hit the eject button on the Howard experience. Other teams clearly smell blood in the water, sense L.A.’s growing weakness, and want to be there to pounce when the moment is right.
Mike D’Antoni’s system (a reported point of major frustration for Howard) and the mounting losses aside, do you know what else probably doesn’t help the situation either? No matter what the update on this post leads you to believe, it seems pretty unlikely that the Dwight/Kobe Bryant relationship is going well.
Check out this quote from Kobe on Yahoo! Sports after Monday’s terrible loss to the Bulls:
“I’ve tried to go out of my way to get (Howard) the ball. Sometimes I end up looking like an idiot, because I get up in the air, I’ve got a shot, but I try to find him. But he thinks I’m going to shoot, so his back is turned. I’m trying to think about getting him the ball a lot — take care of him as much as I possibly can. It takes me out of rhythm a little bit, but I’m fine with that. If that’s going to help our team, I’m more than willing to do that.
“I’ve constantly tried to help him out, tried to talk to him,” Bryant continued. “Two o’clock in the morning, three o’clock in the morning. Texting him. Sharing reading materials. Anything to try and help him.
“He’s coming off a major surgery in a market where it’s just merciless; where there’s demands and responsibilities of athletes. It’s been tough on him.”
Maybe I’m misreading the tone of the quote, but if I’m Dwight (one of many in a league jammed with massive, fragile egos), I would not be cool with Kobe making it sound like a patronizing charity effort to get me involved in the offense. And then telling the world that you’re sending me “reading materials?” Come on, now.
As we get closer to that trade deadline, if everything is going like it is now, Dwight is as good as gone.
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