Kareem Abdul-Jabbar says with Lakers Dwight Howard “didn’t want to do any work”

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Heading into the 2012-13 season, pundits had the Lakers penciled in for a trip o the NBA Finals because of all the talent on the roster — Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, and Dwight Howard topped the list. However, that season ended up being a perfect storm of bad that doomed the Lakers.

Lakers fans still have plenty of venom for Howard about that season. While he played in 76 games and averaged 17 points and 12 boards a night, he was nowhere near the dominant player he had been in Orlando. Combine that with a style clash with Kobe and questions about Howard’s work ethic in comparison, and Howard became a scapegoat.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, busy promoting his new book, piled on Howard in an interview with Lakers Nation.

“Well, Dwight Howard didn’t want to do any work,” Kareem told Lakers Nation. “Andrew Bynum did not want to do a lot of work, but Andrew was kind of getting the hang of it. I don’t think Andrew was that interested in playing basketball.

“Dwight Howard, I’m not going to say anything about him because I really don’t understand what his thing was.”

First, that was always the book on Andrew Bynum. When he was focused on basketball and interested in the game he was good, but he had a lot of interests outside the sport that were on equal footing in his mind. When he got injured, and it required a lot of focus to get back, he drifted.

As for Howard, we need to be fair: He was coming off back surgery and came back too quickly that season, and it set him back all year. Frankly, he’s never been the same player after the back issues. However, that season if he had waited, rehabbed, and returned mid-season he might have been the player the Lakers needed, or at least closer to it. The guy they got wasn’t good enough. Combine that with all the other injuries and issues — don’t forget the idiotic coaching change five games into the season to Mike D’Antoni — and the team was doomed.

This story fits the popular narrative about Howard not being serious about his craft, whether it’s valid or not. That said, why not work out a little with one of the game’s all-time greats? Where’s the harm?

Howard has his share of blame for how things came apart in Los Angeles, but the problems were much larger than him.

Watch the 10 best plays from Andrew Wiggins’ 2016-17 season (VIDEO)

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This upcoming season will be a huge test for Minnesota Timberwolves guard Andrew Wiggins.

After a couple years of steady improvement, it appeared that Wiggins started to level off in his third season. Yes, he increased his 3-point shooting percentage but dips in his free-throw rate and VORP were a tad disappointing considering his usage even as he contributed more points per-game. Many in Minnesota expected him to be a superstar, and now it’s possible he ends up simply as a perennial rotation guy.

Still, the new season for the Timberwolves should be pretty interesting as they have added new pieces to the roster, including former Chicago Bulls star Jimmy Butler.

The video above includes 10 of Wiggins’s best plays from the 2016-17 NBA season. Hopefully Wiggins will be able to build on this type of play as the roster around him and gets better and expectations rise.

Report: Clippers to offer GM job to Thunder assistant Michael Winger

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Doc Rivers no longer has the hammer on trades and player moves in Los Angeles, that has been wisely handed over to Lawrence Frank, the team’s new president of basketball operations. He has Jerry West as a consultant — who will have the owner’s ear — working with him.

Frank now has a new right-hand guy, one of the better respected, up-and-coming front office people in the league, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

The LA Clippers have offered Oklahoma City Thunder executive Michael Winger its general manager’s job, league sources told ESPN. A deal could be finalized soon, league sources said…

Winger, 37, has spent the past seven years with Oklahoma City, working closely with Executive Vice President and GM Sam Presti.

ESPN’s Thunder reporter Royce Young chipped in with this.

This is a good hire by the Clippers, bringing a smart young executive from a well-respected organization into the fold to help energize their front office.

This past summer the Clippers lost Chris Paul (traded to Houston, because he was leaving as a free agent otherwise), locked up Blake Griffin long-term, and now have to decide on a future direction. DeAndre Jordan has a player option next summer, do the Clippers want to max him out or move another direction? The Clippers need to inject some younger, more athletic players into their roster and move out of the win-now, trade youth for vets mode Rivers had them in. The Clippers have done a poor job developing young talent and using that to supplement their stars (something teams like the Warriors and Spurs have done well over the years).

Winger should help change that dynamic.

LeBron James’ best play from every game in 2016-17 (VIDEO)

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I’m not sure it’s possible to argue that LeBron James is not the most important player in the NBA, even in 2016-17.

Yes, others have won the MVP award in years past, but each and every postseason you understand just how important LeBron is to every roster he is on. NBA players even voted him as the player they would most secretly want on their team.

That’s why it’s pretty easy to galvanize that opinion when you watch a 20-minute highlight video of LeBron’s best plays from each game of the past season.

Summer is upon us and even preseason seems like a long way off. Thankfully, we will be able to get to see plays like this here in what feels like the near future.

C.J. McCollum’s cab driver had some hilarious opinions on today’s NBA

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I think we’ve all been in the situation that C.J. McCollum found himself in recently.

Whether you are a hardcore NBA fan, a blogger, a professional writer, or a basketball player, when folks interested in the league find out about your passion, they often try to connect with you about it. Which is great! Especially as sometimes you get cats like the one who was driving the Portland Trail Blazers star guard in the video below.

Now, I have to warn you about some NSFW language, but what the guy had to say was pretty great. Hilarious, even.

The topics ranged from superstars being on the same team, to hating the Golden State Warriors, to the future success of the Blazers themselves.

Again, some extremely NSFW language ahead but also some serious laughs to be had.

Via Instagram:

CJ McCollum's drive to the airport was something. 😂 (via @3jmccollum)

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I’m dying. This guy is the best.