Dwight Howard in Denial About Lakers' Dysfunction

Kelly Scaletta@@KellyScalettaFeatured ColumnistNovember 2, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 30:  Dwight Howard #12 of the Los Angeles Lakers gestures to a referee after fouling out of the game with the Dallas Mavericks at Staples Center on October 30, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.  The Mavericks won 99-91.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
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Kevin Ding of the Orange County register gave a rundown of the postgame antics of the Los Angeles Lakers' newest start, Dwight Howard

First, there's this gem:

Howard's response to the Lakers' 0-2 start remains all rear ends, rainbows and sunshine.

"It'll all come together at the right time," Howard said late Wednesday night in the locker room after the Lakers got blown off the court in Portland.


It'll all come together at the right time? What does that even mean? Is there some sort of cosmic force working the Lakers towards a championship and the "right time" just hasn't arrived yet?

Howard seems to want to make himself a mere inanimate, predestined element being steered towards some preordained destination, not a living, breathing human being who actually interacts with the world him and whose actions affect the game. 

Ding continues: 

Before that, Howard turned on some pleasant music so he could groove in front of his locker while he got dressed, his teammates all already long gone to the bus. Before that, he asked a Lakers staffer if hitting his free throws meant he could have his Halloween candy. Then he asked again. And again.


Not too much wrong here, except that part about the candy. It's not about eating the candy. It's about worrying about eating the candy. 

He was brought in to help the Lakes win a title. They lost their entire preseason. They lost their first two games of the regular season. And Howard's response is to blow that off and set his mind to more important things like, "can I get my candy?"

Is he an NBA superstar or a trained seal?

Before that, Howard mooned a TV cameraman whom he suspected of having his camera on while Howard had his underwear halfway down. Howard responded by sticking his rear end farther out, saying: "I've got a wide shot for you." And he giggled.



His team is losing and he's acting like a 10-year-old child, obsessing over candy and thinking that mooning is funny. 

Howard spent the first part of his career playing in Orlando. He was allowed to get away with a certain amount because he was the only superstar on the team. They were just happy to have him there. 

But he's not in Kansa...erp...Orlando...anymore. He's in Los Angeles, home of Kobe Bryant and Magic Johnson, et al. This is where the championships are won. 

They aren't happy to have "a" superstar in LA. They're entitled to "superstars," plural. And those superstars are expected to behave in a certain way. The most important thing is that they have to want to win and hate to lose. 

Lakers fans don't want to be more worried about the Lakers losing ways than the players are. By golly, when the fans are running around beating the panic button senselessly, the last thing they need to hear about with their superstar center is how he's obsessing over candy or dropping drawers and flaunting his hind quarters to the cameraman. 

Something is obviously wrong with the team. It's not just an overreaction to regular season losses. It's an overreaction to two regular season losses and six preseason losses. 

And while Lakers fans might be overreacting, they might like to see their players at least reacting. Howard's trivializing the losses only amplifies the dysfunctional state of the team. Avoidance is a common reaction to dysfunction. 

While Howard needs be Howard, it might be appropriate for him to act like, at least, an adolescent version of Howard as opposed to a putrescent version.