5 Reasons Dwight Howard Would Be a Fool to Leave the L.A. Lakers
For NBA players with the talent and skill to be a superstar, there is no grander stage than the Staples Center this side of Madison Square Garden.
However, with such lavish surroundings comes a monumental amount of expectations.
With a long history of title reigns and larger-than-life superstars, Howard is in the perfect situation to make use of his freakish talent as well as his charismatic and marketable personality.
For a player who admitted that he would only re-sign with one team while demanding a trade from the Orlando Magic, there are a variety of reasons Howard should reconsider his position and re-sign with the Lakers after this season.
The Lakers Offer Howard a Chance to Rebuild His Image
Joining a no-nonsense squad headed by Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash, Howard has the chance to rebuild his broken image.
Playing alongside players with a win-now mentality like Bryant and the aging Nash is a great way to reinforce the notion that Howard is all about winning.
It was obvious that his ordeal with the Magic and his ongoing feud with Shaquille O'Neal has shown us the immature and petty side to the behemoth.
However, if his on-court contributions result in success alongside an aging core, the national spotlight the Lakers are under will surely focus on his contributions rather than his past.
Furthermore, there is nobody in the league more serious about his craft than Bryant. Playing alongside the Black Mamba will do wonders for Howard's focus and intensity.
Despite Shaquille O'Neal's misgivings and pettiness in terms of nicknames, there is no denying that when O'Neal was on the court, he was in there to rip his opponents' heads off.
Howard is known more for his antics and his humor.
If he is able to develop an intensity that leads to wins, Howard will be able to clear his reputation of the damage that was inflicted upon it during the previous season.
Howard Joins a Long Lineage of Dominant Big Men
If Howard can win a championship with the L.A. Lakers, he will forever be cemented in history as a legend in the annals of Lakers' history.
Consider the centers that have come before him.
Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Shaquille O'Neal are some of the names that have dominated with the Lakers.
Following in their footsteps is a great way to make sure he is remembered decades from now.
Though most players won't say so during the midst of their careers, overall legacy is important to almost every great superstar.
There is no other franchise in the league this side of the Boston Celtics with a more storied history than the Lakers.
If fame and glory are even a small part of Howard's ambitions, there is no better place to stamp his name in history than with the Lakers.
On the other hand, some pundits could say that he wants to stamp out his own legacy. Furthermore, his rivalry with Shaquille O'Neal over the years may also prove to discourage Howard from putting his name up beside O'Neal's.
However, there is a big reason the Lakers have generated so many superstars and championships over the years...
The L.A. Lakers Have the Resources
With 16 NBA Championships under their belt, the L.A. Lakers have established a long tradition of winning.
There are many reasons for their success, and one of the prominent reasons is Jerry Buss.
Jerry Buss has been the architect behind 10 of the Lakers' 16 championships and the vast amount of monetary resources his family possesses has kept the Lakers in the title hunt for a very long time.
If Dwight Howard is really sincere about his desire to win a championship above anything else, there are very few franchises with both the resources and the culture to keep Howard in contention for years to come.
If Howard wishes to re-sign long-term, there is no doubt that Howard will be the cornerstone of the franchise.
Almost all of the All-Star talent in the league want to be the franchise player. Howard only has to wait a scant few years for Kobe Bryant to call it a career and he'll become the focal point of one of the top two franchises in the NBA.
Dwight Howard Is the Focal Point of the Offense
There are different types of All-Stars in this league.
Some of these stars are defensive specialists like Ben Wallace during his prime. Others are distributors in the same vein as Magic Johnson.
However, all superstars with franchise carrying talent want to be the focal point on offense in one way or another.
Superstars like Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant need their shots in order to be kept content.
Even for a superstar like Dwight Howard, who has a host of offensive deficiencies, his role in D'Antoni's offense as the primary pick-and-roll big man makes him the offensive focal point.
Furthermore, more talented pivot-men such as Pau Gasol have been told to keep out of the lane to allow Howard his touches in the paint.
Consider if Howard chose to sign with his desired team, the Brooklyn Nets.
Howard would probably be the second or third option behind Deron Williams and possibly Joe Johnson.
With the Lakers, there is no risk of his role being usurped by an aging Steve Nash. Furthermore, if Bryant's statements are true, Howard will only have to wait two more seasons before he is handed the keys to the most storied franchise in the history of the NBA.
The Lakers Are One of the Biggest Markets in the NBA
Consider the plight of a superstar like Chris Bosh.
Playing for the Toronto Raptors for the majority of his career, his only claim to fame to most of the public was his All-Star bid and his reputation as the RuPaul of big men prior to joining the Miami Heat.
Once joining the Heat, his first few months transitioning into a lesser role made him seem like a mentally soft player.
Considered a stat sheet stuffer on a poor team during his Raptor days, it wasn't until the 2011-2012 NBA Season that Chris Bosh began to garner critical acclaim for his skill and ability leading the Heat through stretches without Dwyane Wade or LeBron James.
Furthermore, his injury in the playoffs and the Heat's struggles thereafter cemented his importance to the Heat.
For Dwight Howard, there is no better place to gain recognition and critical acclaim for success than with the Lakers.
Being a part of the largest media spotlight in the NBA, every move Howard makes will be met with praise or criticism.
However, superstars thrive in this type of environment, and Howard should be able to garner attention, sponsorships and endorsements playing with the Lakers.
There is no doubt that Brooklyn is a media hot bed as well. However, Howard is now already a part of a long established media spotlight with the chance to play for a franchise that is dedicated to both winning and monetary success.