If you have been waiting for Dwight Howard to speak on his own behalf, using his own words, to discuss his upcoming free agency on July 1, today is your lucky day. After a couple of weeks of hearing and reading reports and rumors from “sources,” Dwight himself responded to all the talk and criticism of his upcoming big decision this summer.
Dwight conducted an interview with the Los Angeles Times T.J. Simers, and while he didn’t give any groundbreaking news regarding his free agency, the interview was quite interesting and gave us his perspective on the matter.
So, how is Dwight approaching his free agency this summer? He said the following:
“It’s free agency and I have the opportunity to choose where I’m going to play,” he said. “God opens doors, and I’m relying on my faith to direct me.
“I don’t think it’s fair I get criticized for waiting on such an opportunity.”
But what does he want in a team?
“I want to win; I’ve done everything else,” he said. “I just want to win.”
Dwight now understands that he can’t please everyone, which is something he has struggled with in the past. So what changed?
“I can’t do it anymore,” he said. “I can’t please everybody.”
What prompted the change?
“When I came back from my shoulder injury, some didn’t think I was giving my all,” he said. “And nobody wanted to hear what I said about coming off back surgery. It wasn’t fair to me. I was on a walker and four months later playing basketball. I played hurt.”
While his production increased as his health improved last season, there seemed to be a disconnect with Howard. There have been multiple reports regarding his relationship with Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni and even reports (later refuted by Mitch Kupchak) that he expressed frustrations of D’Antoni to Kupchak. Howard was a little vague in his response to Simers asking if D’Antoni is a great coach.
“I love him,” he said. “He’s a great person.”
Is he a great coach?
“He’s a great person and I’m glad we had the opportunity to be together,” said Howard, which some will undoubtedly interpret as goodbye.
Despite the Lakers being able to offer Dwight the most lucrative contract as a free agent, being located in the second largest market in the United States that can offer endless opportunities for a player and being able to surround a player with the rich and successful tradition and history of the franchise, Dwight seems to be open and intrigued to what other teams have to offer, such as the Houston Rockets.
“I want to see what each opportunity offers,” Howard said. “I want to see how people plan on winning.”
What team will he view as the team that offers him the best chance of winning has yet to be seen. NBA free agency is about a month away, which means we have a month left of hearing speculation and reports of Dwight’s decision.
Therefore, it’s a nice change of pace when we hear from the actual player involved in all the talk. Although it is understandable for Dwight to take his time with his decision, come July 1, the quicker he makes his decision, the better for everyone involved.
In case you missed it, be sure to check out what Phil Jackson had to say about Mike D’Antoni.
Don’t forget to click here to subscribe to our Lakers Nation YouTube Channel!