Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports
Dwight Howard spoke with ESPN's Stephen A. Smith to discuss living up to expectations of past Lakers bigs, his health, his role in the offense, and his upcoming free agency. Full interview and quotes.
It seems both Lakers big men have been busy while in New York, as not only did Pau Gasol take the time to speak with the media (in this T.J. Simers interview where he expressed his distress once again), but Dwight Howard sat down with ESPN's Stephen A. Smith for an interview. The two discussed Dwight living up to the Lakers bigs of the past, his health, and Smith probed a bit in regards to Dwight's outlook on staying with the Lakers as a free agent.
When Stephen A. Smith pointed out that Kobe Bryant has 1014 field goal attempts on the season to Dwight's 442, Howard responded and admitted he has had an issue with Kobe's shot selection earlier in the season.
"There were a lot of times early in the season where I would get upset because I felt like he shot the ball a lot and I wanted some touches down low. Do I want touches? Yeah. But, whatever I have to do to help this team win. I have to keep my mind in that area." - Dwight Howard: Extended Conversation with Stephen A. Smith, ESPN
Dwight also revealed more about his current health, putting a low 75 percent on the status of his back recovery, and gave insight into the nerve damage he suffered in his legs because of his back.
"With my back, you know, it's not all the way there. 75 percent. And my shoulder is day-to-day" - Dwight Howard: Extended Conversation with Stephen A. Smith, ESPN
"Even sitting down in this chair right now is causing my legs to go numb. Just having this tingly sensation go all the way down my legs. That happens when I'm playing, that happens when I'm just sitting on the bench for a couple minutes, and it's not easy." - Dwight Howard: Extended Conversation with Stephen A. Smith, ESPN
Of course, no Dwight Howard conversation can exist without asking about his intention as an unrestricted free agent this Summer.
"Right now, my only focus is to get us into the playoffs and win a championship. Nothing else matters at this point" - Dwight Howard: Extended Conversation with Stephen A. Smith, ESPN
"I'm committed to this team, and us winning a championship." - Dwight Howard: Extended Conversation with Stephen A. Smith, ESPN
"I understand what the Lakers what, and I also understand that right now there's no need for all the circus, and all the stuff that happened last year to start back up. I don't want it, our team doesn't need it. I don't need it, and frankly our fans don't need it." - Dwight Howard: Extended Conversation with Stephen A. Smith, ESPN
Nothing groundbreaking from Dwight, though his detail regarding his back and legs is an important factor in this Lakers season. At only 75% with his back, with legs that tingle and go numb during games, and now trying to play through a torn labrum in his shoulder, it seems unlikely Howard will be fully healthy this season.
The interview is embedded above, but for a direct link, head over here.
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