On ESPN First Take with Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith yesterday, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar shared his thoughts on Dwight Howard. Abdul-Jabbar said Howard is a great athlete, but lacks the basketball IQ that can take him to the next level. The Lakers great also discussed how easy it was to coach Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol on how to stop Howard in the 2009 Finals.
Speaking to CSN Houston’s Dave Zangaro, Howard responded on Friday saying that Kareem’s opinion was said out of emotion:
“When I joined the Lakers, I was the greatest center and then when I left, I was the worst, mentally I wasn’t capable of playing center. I understand that a lot of things are said out of emotion but I would say that if he has anything to say, I’m here in Houston. We can talk man-to-man. That’s how I feel about it.”
Howard also questioned why Abdul-Jabbar would make those comments instead of wishing him good luck like he plans to do when he retires:
“I mean, he’s Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. If I’m Kareem, I’m like ‘why?’ Four championships, five championships, whatever. I’ve been in Airplane, did movies with Bruce Lee. I’m not worried about the young whippersnappers, you know. Just wish him good luck. But people do things different.”
Although Howard always says he doesn’t pay attention to any negativity that surrounds him, he somehow always has a response. Some are wondering why those comments were made now, but Kareem said he wanted to give Howard a chance to acclimate himself in Los Angeles before he made any comments.
Since Howard decided not to stay with the Lakers, Kareem shared his honest opinion of the All-Star center — an opinion that is shared among Lakers fans. Even if Howard stayed in Los Angeles, the fact that he doesn’t have a go-to move on offense was going to be a recurring topic and Kareem’s comments weren’t based on emotions.
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