Dwight Howard Sounds off on Turbulent Year with LA Lakers

Jesse DorseyFeatured ColumnistJuly 15, 2013

Dwight Howard recently sat down with ESPN's Stephen A. Smith to discuss his future with the Houston Rockets and why he left the Los Angeles Lakers

Howard was surprisingly honest, owning up to his periodical lack of aggression as Kobe Bryant tried to force shots, as he is known to do.

Smith also steered the conversation toward Los Angeles' head-coaching situation. 

Following Howard's decision to join the Rockets, it was reported that he had asked the Lakers to hire Phil Jackson earlier in the 2012-13 season, but they went on to hire Mike D'Antoni instead.

When asked whether Jackson being hired would have convinced him to stay, Howard was noncommittal, though he implied that Jackson would have been a better choice than D'Antoni:

I think he would have have put the team in the right direction, and having him would have been greatgreat for me and great for my career. But, like I said, I think this [Houston] is the perfect situation for me.

Howard also affirmed the notion that he and James Harden could form a dominant duo in the NBA, one comparable to Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe in the early 2000s.

If the team performs at its peak, Howard believes it is capable of making the Western Conference Finals. However, he's looking more toward putting together an extended run of greatness.

Near the end of the conversation with Smith, Howard addressed the main issue that people seem to have with the big man: Is he serious about winning an NBA championship?

When I watched those guys hold up that trophy, I get pissed off to the point where I hate watching the playoffs.

Did I watch the last game? Yea, for a little bit, but I was pissed off.


I want to be the guy holding up those trophies.

Howard certainly put himself in a position where he'll have a shot at winning some titles, but he can also expect more criticism than ever before if he falls short. 

Next season will be a test of whether he can deal with the pressure that comes with massive expectations.