Dwight Howard made his final decision in free agency, after countless meetings, to no longer play for the Los Angeles Lakers,and move his talents to Houston. Have to admit you can't say he didn't make a good decision heading towards theRockets,but was it the best decision for a player of his caliber? Howard's 'excuses' for departing revolved solely around his ego and failure to play under pressure. People can't completely bludgeon D12 for his decision to leave basketball royalty for a team with promise. What they can do is question whether he was really the superstar Mitch Kupchak envisioned in the form of a statue. Kobe Bryant stepped forward and revealed Dwight's true colors with Lakers Execs confirming that the Mamba went at Howard about his imitations and complaints with other teammates during the season. Howard later admitted his decision had nothing to do with Bryant's pitch though. There are reasons to question Howard's 'excuse' for leaving. Nevertheless the big man has found an opportunity to reinvent himself and put an organization like the "Astros" according to Phil Jackson, on the map.
The concept of joining forces with 'The Beard' intrigued Superman. He felt the potential of them growing together could form one of the deadliest combinations such as Big L and Tupac. Howard felt with the young core that the Rockets possess, and the work they've done to make it to the playoffs last season, he has better chance at winning a title than he did with the Lakers. He even went out of his way to say, "I'm betting $30 million on it." Howard felt he was surrounded by a franchise that valued its big men more than LA claiming that with McHale and his million moves in the post combined with working alongside Olajuwon off the court for training, he could learn how to become more of a presence in the paint. Dwight wants his game to be featured and does not wish to be a 'sidekick'. All sound like very valid reasons to bolt to Space City but has anybody actually paid close attention to Howard's comments? Everything that Houston offered D12, Los Angeles has the ability to offer. Maybe Howard is really trying to shadow the fact that he can't play under pressure. I know what people are going to say. "Miguel you must be a Laker fan!" or "Why can't you just let him be?" Truth is Howard can't make a fool out of me. Let me explain:
Howard feels there is potential in a combination featuring Harden and himself to win championships for years to come. Of course he feels like that. Unfortunately, it takes more than two star assets to produce championship aspirations. Take a look at Miami's road to two titles. Equipped with 3 all-stars, they still managed to lose one title to the Mavericks. After the bumpy start though, they found the togetherness Dallas confronted them with and took the league by storm. They recognized sacrifices needed to be made by elite players to transform them from a contender into a champion. Black Mamba and Superman meshing together could've formed a legendary blend of an icon and future legend. Sure Dwight would feel more comfortable knowing that Kobe's legs won't give out this year and hopefully Nash isn't losing durability ,but with that cast meshing together like they did at the end of last year's season proves the Lakers were a team to watch. By Howard committing to the Lakers this season it would push the organization to chase players next offseason to build around him. As the Lakers said they would still pursue Carmelo or Lebron next summer even if they did sign the big man. To be honest, working alongside Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Steve Nash, and Metta World Peace you still have a much higher chance to win a title this upcoming season than you do with Parsons, Harden, and Lin. So the fact is: Lakers can build around Howard as soon as next year. And yes they would sacrifice Pau to do that next offseason. They would even consider having Kobe take a pay cut. Howard is said to be more comfortable with the duo he will be working around in Houston, which included McHale and Olajuwon. As far as post players those are two legends he will be close to. Only problem is don't claim that you will be working around people that can make you far better as if LA doesn't have enough history to show that it knows how to transform centers into basketball gods. The pressure of having to surpass Jabbar, O'Neal, and Chamberlain might be too much to handle. Let alone O'Neal showed Bryant how it's done by winning Finals MVP during 3 of those campaigns. Maybe Howard's problem is he feels like he shouldn't be trying to prove anything to anyone. D12 earlier in the season claimed he wants more post action yet he scored more in D'Antoni's pick and roll than he did with his back to the basket. If so why not show yourself that you can shine brighter than any of those talents before you. You wish to win a trophy but won't sacrifice attention and ball possession for a title. Dwight proved he is not worthy of basketball royalty when he made his decision. He proved he is not a superstar but only an all-star.