January 17, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard (12) warms up before the game against the Miami Heat at the Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Stan Van Gundy Weighs In On Dwight Howard's Future With The Los Angeles Lakers

Following the Los Angeles Lakers victory last night at the hands of the Utah Jazz, Stan Van Gundy, in typical Stan Van Gundy form, decided to share his two cents. Safe to say, he didn’t allow Lakers fans much time to enjoy the end of a four-game losing streak. According to David Baumann, host of ESPN 1080 The Orlando Show, this is what Dwight Howard’s former head coach had to say regarding his future with the Lakers:

That’s going to be an interesting thing. I think they will keep him for the rest of the year. I think they still think they’ve got a lot to offer and can re-sign him. So, I think he’ll be there for the rest of the year, but I think it’s ’50-50′ or maybe even worse odds for the Lakers that they can retain him at the end of the year and if they realize that, you could see them make a move at the trading deadline.

Well, if there’s one thing that Stan Van Gundy knows, it’s that if Dwight Howard wants out, he’ll get out. He’ll also make a complete circus out of it, and if last years saga wasn’t publicized enough, Howard will now have the bright lights of Hollywood scrutinizing every word he says.

While that sounds like a nightmare for most players, the summer of 2012 taught fans two things:

1. Dwight Howard lives for the spotlight.
2.There are worse ways to leave your city than announcing it on national television during a one-hour special.

Okay, so we’ve moved on from the obvious fact that if the Lakers don’t pick it up – in a dramatic way – over the next few months, Dwight Howard will sincerely enjoy having every NBA team wrapped around his finger for as long as he can possibly hold out on making a decision.

Now, let’s address the chances of Dwight Howard bolting from what is seemingly the city of his dreams.

Jan 25, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard (12) goes up to the basket as Utah Jazz center Al Jefferson (25) looks on during the first half at the Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Before taking a serious glance at SVG’s prediction, it’s important to remember that no matter what he says or how much time passes, Stan is always going to have a feeling of disdain towards Howard.

However, while his 50-50 prediction seems to be a little over the edge, it isn’t the worst prediction a Van Gundy brother has made. I’d link to a specific situation, but there are far too many to name.

Of course, there are obvious reason’s that Dwight would want to stay. First of all, it’s Los Angeles. Second of all, it’s the Lakers. The combination of the words “Los Angeles Lakers” may not seem like much, but they’re the best thing the Lakers have had to offer for the past fifty years… and the past fifty years have treated them more than well.

Let’s face it. Who wouldn’t want to play on a team with a dedicated management that’s willing to shell out money, has 16 rings to show for it and is in the dead centre of Hollywood? Not to mention, the weather is amazing.

Here’s the thing with a guy like Dwight Howard though. If there’s one thing that’s been said about him over the past few years, it’s that he can’t handle the pressure.

The past five months have done more than enough to solidify that truth. Dwight Howard may be a lot of things: perennial all-star, best center in the league, permanent MVP candidate, multiple DPOY winner and most recently… complete and utter infant. One thing he is not: hard-headed.

Maybe the city of Los Angeles can teach him to put everything aside and just play. Maybe this whole experience could be a lesson to him, and a minor speed bump as he dominates Lakers basketball for the next five years. That all depends on him though, because one thing is clear: the city of Los Angeles isn’t going to support a losing team.

Tags: Dwight Howard Los Angeles Lakers NBA Stan Van Gundy

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