The Los Angeles Lakers have been nothing if not a sideshow this year, sniping at each other through the media, falling apart left and right and just losing game after game up until their most recent winning stretch. Now Dwight Howard's dad is getting involved.
Howard's father has taken offense to the way Howard and Kobe have been communicating recently, and he thinks Mike D'Antoni should be putting a stop to it.
It's been going on all season long, on and off, but the biggest display was recently when Howard and Bryant went back and forth via the media regarding Dwight's ailing shoulder. Kobe started things off (h/t Jackie MacMullan, ESPNBoston.com):
We don't have time for [Howard's shoulder] to heal. ... We need some urgency.
Of course, Howard had to defend himself, so he shot back at Kobe rather than going to talk to the man himself (h/t Dave McMenamin, ESPNLosAngeles.com):
He's not a doctor.
After watching this all unfold through blogs, newspapers and television, Dwight Howard Sr. decided to have his say, basically telling his boy to wrap things up privately, rather than airing dirty laundry through the media.
Well, before he got into the whole "be more responsible with what you way" thing, he had to take his son's side and admonish Kobe for calling out Howard in the first place (h/t Jeff Schultz, Atlanta Journal-Constitution):
I told him before he said it publicly, "It’s your career. No person can say what you need to do or not do. You can’t worry about what Kobe or anybody else says." Nobody can say what Kobe said -- that’s stepping into another man’s shoes. I understand what Kobe was trying to do, but he went about it the wrong way. He’s trying to win a championship. But Dwight has to tell Kobe, "I appreciate your opinion, but that doesn’t matter. We’re two men on this team. We need to be reasonable about this."
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.
While Howard Sr. does blatantly ignore the fact that his son had his own public feud with Stan Van Gundy less than 12 months ago, he does have a point with the root of his argument.
There's nothing to be gained by calling people out through the media, and when you do all it does is make the team look like it's in a place of discord and is sailing without a compass.
Taking care of problems privately is always the way to go. Otherwise, they're just adding fuel to their own demise, should it come about.