Before Dwight Howard departed for the Houston Rockets, he reportedly asked for Lakers head coach Mike D’Antoni to be fired. The Lakers organization decided to keep D’Antoni and during his press conference, Howard took an indirect shot at D’Antoni while complementing his new coach, Kevin McHale.
With the Lakers set to play the Rockets this Thursday in Houston, D’Antoni was asked whether or not he’s been in contact with Howard since his departure via ESPN’s Dave McMenamin:
LAL plays HOU this week. Has Mike D’Antoni had any contact w/ Dwight Howard since he bolted? “No. No. I wouldn’t. No. No.”
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) November 3, 2013
To no one’s surprise, D’Antoni hasn’t talked to Howard and there’s no reason for both sides to communicate. Since the arrival of D’Antoni, Howard simply refused to play pick-and-roll basketball with Steve Nash and his selfishness destroyed the team’s chemistry. While Howard said he wanted to become a back-to-the-basket player, he joined a team that plays a very similar offense to D’Antoni’s.
While it would have been ideal to re-sign an All-Star center who is in the prime of his career, it was best for both sides to go their separate ways. If Howard stayed, there would have continued to be poor team chemistry and power struggles for the remainder of his contract. With these Lakers excited to play for one another, the organization will have opportunities to sign another All-Star player as soon as this upcoming off-season.
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