The Zen Master is using his Jedi mind tricks once again as Phil Jackson expressed that he would like Dwight Howard to remain part of the Lakers organization. Initially, Phil previously said that he did not expect Howard to return to the Lakers once he became a free agent.
Now, Jackson has apparently changed his mind as wants to see Howard back in a Lakers uniform next season, according to Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times.
“You get really close to players when you get in a final series. You not only go against them, but you also [gain] great respect for them.”
“Dwight wants to get back to that place and I admire that about him,” Jackson said.
The Lakers beat the Orlando Magic in the 2009 NBA Finals which featured Dwight Howard. Howard wants the chance to gain his first NBA title, and LA. would be the perfect place for Howard to win his ring. In Los Angeles, when you win championships, you become a star among the stars. Everything about Los Angeles is revolved around winning and winning championships.
If you want to leave a legacy, then you cement it in Tinseltown. The greatest centers have played in L.A., such as George Mikan, Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Shaquille O’Neal. Howard could see his jersey hang in the rafters among the greats if he stays with the Lakers and wins a few championships along the way.
“I told him to remember defense and rebounding are the keys to the game,” Jackson said. “He texted back to say, ‘Is this really you?'”
“The work that he has to do to get there is going to be continual.”
Jackson is giving advice to Howard and may be lobbying to keep the big man in Los Angeles. The biggest thing that Dwight needs to do is get healthy, stay in shape, and focus on his defensive game. The biggest way that Dwight could improve his game is by tightening up on his fundamentals and letting the game come to him instead of playing outside of the team aspect.
Lakers believe that Dwight Howard is the key to future success according to GM Mitch Kupchak, who told Lakers reporter Mike Trudell:
“He is our future,” said Mitch Kupchak about Dwight.
“All in all, taking into consideration the season, new players and most importantly the injury that he had, I think he had a great season and just didn’t get enough credit for it.
“Dwight is in a category of the great; he’s over his back injury and there’s no reason he can’t play seven or eight more years at that position, and there’s no doubt in my mind (that) if he does, he’s in the Hall of Fame, and those players are just hard to come by.”
The Lakers are rolling the dice on Dwight to keep him as a Laker as he explores free agency starting July 1st. It makes most sense for Howard if he remains part of the Lakers, where he will earn $30 million more than if he joins another team.
Financially, it makes sense for Dwight to sign a max deal with the Lakers, but it also makes more sense in terms of legacy. Dwight could go down as one of the best centers ever if he stays with the Lakers and wins multiple NBA championship rings.
Did you see our video about Phil Jackson acting as a Lakers consultant? If not, check out our video below and don’t forget to click here to subscribe to our YouTube Channel!