Will Dwight Howard bolt next season?
APR 08, 2013 11:07a ET
After the 109-95 beating on Sunday — which gave the Clips their first ever Pacific Division championship — while Howard's teammates were waxing philosophical in other parts of the locker room, D12 was having none of it.
He was mad and wanted the world to know it.
“Even when the team is playing well, why can’t you guys seem to put together 48 minutes of good basketball consistently?” he was asked.
“It’s something we have to learn how to do as a team,” he replied.
“What goes into that — experience, coming back from injuries? How do you see it?”
“Experience,” was Howard’s answer, and as he was speaking it he actually looked like he was in physical pain. Probably from biting his tongue to say what he was truly feeling at the moment.
When asked how he rated his team’s game in, game out intensity, Howard cracked sarcastically that “I don’t have a rate meter. Sorry.”
So it went during the post-game interview session with one of the few superstars who are consistently cooperative with the media.
As has been the case all season long, there should be a deeper focus on the big man’s comments than just the fact that he was teed off with the effort of his teammates — and probably himself, as he finished the game with just four rebounds to go with his 25 points.
For the Lakers to remain serious title contender for the next 5 to 7 years, they have to convince Howard to re-sign with them after the season. And as his displeasure with the effort of some of his teammates becomes more palpable while they embarrassingly fight for the West’s last playoff spot with the Utah Jazz, it’s looking more and more like Jim Buss and Mitch Kupchak will have to put together a major selling job to keep Dwight from bolting. Howard, of course, says nothing when asked about how all of the negativity he’s faced this season will factor into his decision to stay or go.
As he was making it obvious that he wanted to get out of the locker room and Staples Center ASAP, Howard was asked why he was so upset and giving such short answers. He ducked the question saying that “We just have to get ready for (Monday) and have a good practice.”
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