First off – I say this report needs to be taken with a heavy grain of salt considering the source, that said, according to former ESPN scribe and now Comcast Sportsnet insider Ric Bucher, Dwight Howard told the Lakers they needed to fire head coach Mike D’Antoni and amnesty Kobe Bryant for him to remain in purple (forum blue) and gold for the foreseeable future.
It’s not exactly breaking news as we’ve heard rumblings of such in recent weeks, though Bucher is the biggest name (though not exactly the most accurate) to go on record with it.
Talks with various people close to the situation make it clear there were two prerequisites for Dwight Howard to remain a Laker: fire Mike D’Antoni and amnesty, or at the very least muzzle, Kobe Bryant.
The Lakers apparently asked Dwight to be patient on both fronts for at least another season, telling him “hey, you’re going to have to gut this out another year,” a source said, although it sounds as if VP of basketball ops Jim Buss isn’t ready to abandon Kobe anytime soon. “Dwight didn’t want to play with Kobe for 2-3 more years,” Buss said. “I’m going to stand behind Kobe because of his history with the franchise.” It would seem, then, with all that happened, the Lakers had the wherewithal to keep Howard if they had desired; they simply found the price too high.
Seems a bit outlandish to me, but then again, Dwight’s had some pretty oddball demands over the years.