As became evident by the fact that Dwight Howard chose to sign with the Houston Rockets in free agency, he simply didn’t want to play in Los Angeles for the Lakers.
This was true even last season, however, while Howard was still on the team and was theoretically trying to make the best of a situation where he wasn’t a fit from either a personality or a positional standpoint.
Whether or not Howard truly gave it his all in terms of trying to do what was asked of him in Mike D’Antoni’s system, if only for a season, is debatable at best. One of Howard’s All-Star teammates, Steve Nash, said as much during a radio interview that aired in Los Angeles on Tuesday.
“Ultimately, I think Dwight wasn’t comfortable here and didn’t want to be here and I think if he didn’t want to be here, there’s no point for anyone in him being here,” Nash told “The Mason & Ireland Show” on ESPN LA 710 radio on Tuesday. “So, we wish him the best and move on.”
“Dwight had some issues with the season,” Nash said. “I think it kind of basically goes with what he said to the media that he never quite felt embraced in L.A. He never quite felt supported. That’s basically it. I think in some ways you can read into that what you will, but I think he never quite felt comfortable at home and I don’t know if that’s anybody’s fault.”
However, Nash said that X’s and O’s played just as big a part with Howard as health did.
“He didn’t seem like he really wanted to do a pick-and-roll offense, maybe because he had run one in Orlando for so long and he wanted to get in the post more,” Nash said.
It’s not like we needed confirmation that Howard never fully bought in to the Lakers last season, because his actions on the court and comments off of it during the campaign told us as much — but there it is.
Once Howard became a free agent, he was obviously entitled to do whatever his heart desired in choosing his new destination. But constantly putting up a fight with his current team (even passively) was not a great look, and the reality is that the Lakers should be relieved that Howard didn’t take them up on their five-year offer of a max contract.
Because Howard and the Lakers (at least as constructed) were never anywhere close to being a comfortable match.