Following Lakers practice on Thursday newly acquired center Dwight Howard was asked about the recent comments from former Laker Shaquille O’Neal about New Jersey Nets center Brook Lopez being a better true center than Howard. O’Neal’s comments sparked some controversy, as Howard is widely accepted as the best center in the league.
When informed of these comments, Howard didn’t tread lightly when informing reporters how he really felt about the future Hall of Fame center.
“There’s no sense of him being talking trash. He had his time in the league. Sit back and relax. Your time is up.”
The question also arose asking Howard how he felt about Shaq, and if there was a mutual respect there, or if that was something he even desired from O’Neal.
“What do we need to get on the same page for? I have respect for him and what he did for basketball. That’s it.”
Howard went on to say that he wanted to be more of an ambassador for the game once his playing days are done, something he doesn’t feel O’Neal has done a very good job of since his playing days ended. Dwight mentioned that he wanted to help the next breed of center once he has retired, rather than criticize them.
“When my time is up there’s going to be someone else that can do everything I can do, and probably do it better. Instead of talking about him I’ll try and do all that I can do to help him get to where I’m at.”
Regardless of how either player feel, it’s going to be a bit awkward when O’Neal has his jersey retired this season for the Lakers. There’s no question Howard is following a very similar script, but ultimately will have to create his own legacy.