With superstar center Dwight Howard deciding to leave the Los Angeles Lakers in favor of the Houston Rockets in free agency, the three-time Defensive Player of the Year basically became public enemy number one in the city of Los Angeles. Not only have the fans of the storied NBA franchise turned on Dwight for leaving, but the front office is also starting to express their distaste for the veteran center.
According to Ric Buchler of The Hollywood Reporter, Lakers Executive VP, Jim Buss, isn’t all that fond of Dwight and claims that the star center was simply passing through last season:
“He was never really a Laker,” says Jim. “He was just passing through.”
Leading up to Dwight officially becoming an unrestricted free agent, the speculation began to run rampant about the defensive-minded center potentially deciding to leave the team. Even though the Lakers were offering $30 million more than the Rockets or any other team for that matter, Dwight was determined to leave and rubbed a lot of people the wrong way in the process.
Although people have been highly critical of Buss’ moves and decisions since Dr. Jerry Buss began giving him a much bigger role in the organization, the son of the late owner has had some huge shoes to fill. Dr. Buss was widely considered one of the most successful owners in professional sports in this country making his son’s job that much more difficult after taking over.
The loss of Dwight in free agency was considered a major blow for a team looking for the next face of the franchise. Despite losing arguably the league’s best center to the Rockets this summer, many believe the team will figure things out over the course of the upcoming season and bring in superstar talent next summer.
With Kobe Bryant entering the twilight of his career in the NBA, the team needs to move quickly with next summer’s free agency period being arguably Buss’ toughest challenge. Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James are currently on the team’s radar, but it remains uncertain whether or not the Lakers will be able to land one or both of these players as free agents.
Buss will tested from here on out with his legacy on the line as the Lakers try to rebuild once again.
Lakers Nation attended the Harold Pump Foundation. Be sure to subscribe to our Lakers Nation YouTube channel by clicking here!