UPDATE: Saturday, Feb. 9, at 8:57 p.m. ET by Michael Moraitis
Here is what Howard had to say in response to his father's strong words about D'Antoni, per Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com:
"My dad is a grown man. If that's how he feels, then we'll leave it at that. I'm not going to get into it.
"That's what he's supposed to do, support his kid, and he's going to do the best job he can at it," Howard said.
---End of Update---
In a recent interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Jeff Schultz, Dwight Sr. called out D'Antoni and also criticized Kobe Bryant for "stepping into another man’s shoes" when it came to questioning Howard's effort while battling through multiple injuries.
But when it came to handing out blame for the escalation of the off-court drama, Dwight Sr. was quick to point the finger at the Lakers' head honcho (via Schultz):
The problem is the coach. (D’Antoni) needs to step in and say, ‘You guys have got to be quiet. We’re trying to secure something here. Dwight is probably looking at the coach, thinking, ‘What are you going to do?’ I promise, if that had been Stan Van Gundy, that wouldn’t have happened. (Howard) wouldn’t have been admonished publicly. I think the coach has a lot to do with who controls Kobe’s mouth right now.
Although many across Laker Nation would agree with Dwight Sr., it's quite predictable that he would come to the defense of his son.
The 27-year-old Howard, who will be a free agent at season's end, has started 45 games for the Lake Show this season, but is averaging just 16.2 points and 11.8 rebounds per game. Not since his rookie year in 2004-05 has he had such underwhelming numbers.
But Howard isn't the only problem in Hollywood. The Lakers are an absolute mess. Projected to win the NBA championship before the season began, L.A. finds itself at 24-27 with only 31 games to play. If there is good news, though, it's that the Lakers have won four of their last five games and seven of their last nine.
Heading into Sunday's matchup with the defending champion Miami Heat, the Lakers are three-and-a-half games back of the Houston Rockets for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Maybe Dwight Sr.'s comments will spark a turnaround in Lakerland.
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