The curious case of Dwight Howard
Who walks away from the LA Lakers? Dwight Howard, that’s who. Dwight Howard and no one else.
If Dwight wins multiple championships in Houston, then he’ll be known as the man who had the guts to leave the most decorated franchise in the NBA and write his own script, and a guy who ran away from an extra $30 million in order to win the Championship.
Let’s be clear about one thing – the Lakers are not winning the Championship next year, not with an injured Kobe, a 40-year-old Nash and without any semblance of a productive bench.
But the summer of 2014 will bring upon you the most dreaded thing in basketball (if you’re one of the other 29 teams) – Lakers with oodles of cap space.
And with a free agency class consisting of the likes of Lebron James, Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh, Paul George, Carmelo Anthony, Danny Granger and Rudy Gay, it would be foolish to bet against the Lakers signing at least two of these superstars.
Moreover, if Kobe and Gasol resign for lesser money, the road to a Championship would be complete.
Now coming back to the Rockets: even with Dwight, there’s no way they’re competing for a title in 2014. The core of Harden, Parsons and Dwight has no chance of dethroning the likes of Golden State (who’ve added Iguodala to an already stacked roster), San Antonio, Oklahoma City Thunder (with a healthy Westbrook) and Clippers (with Doc Rivers at the helm).
We could spend days wondering how Dwight concluded that teaming with James Harden, who left a Championship-calibre team in Oklahoma, was a better decision than playing alongside the best winner in the game in Kobe Bryant and for the most storied franchise in the NBA that has produced legends like Wilt Chamberlain, Magic Johnson, Jerry West, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Shaquille O’Neal, James Worthy and Elgin Baylor.
Dwight’s decision cannot be validated today. One thing is clear – whether he wins Championships in Houston or goes into notoriety, his decision cannot be reversed.
Leaving the Lakers is something only Dwight would do and he has to live with that decision and own it, no matter how it turns out.