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[ESPN] Dwight Waited on Kobe to Pass the Torch

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by Kruze10, Jul 11, 2013.

  1. Kruze10

    Kruze10 Member

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    I know, another ESPN article. I didn't see this posted anywhere, lock if needed.

    http://espn.go.com/los-angeles/nba/...wanted-end-kobe-bryant-era-los-angeles-lakers

    Dwight Howard's distaste for the offense and approach of coach Mike D'Antoni is widely cited as the biggest trigger in his decision to leave the Los Angeles Lakers. But another key factor that led the All-Star center to the Houston Rockets was the Lakers' refusal to establish a clear timetable for moving on from the Kobe Bryant era, according to sources with knowledge of Howard's thinking.

    Sources told ESPN.com that Howard and his representatives -- in a handful of meetings with Lakers officials before he became a free agent July 1 -- strongly suggested the center would have a difficult time re-signing with Los Angeles if Bryant stayed with the franchise beyond the 2013-14 season, the final year of his contract.

    The Lakers, almost from the moment Howard arrived in August 2012, had gone to great lengths to assure the 27-year-old that they saw him as the future face of the franchise and that the torch would be passed from Bryant to him in short order. But with Bryant saying publicly just a week before free agency that he was thinking of playing at least two or three more seasons, it was hard for Howard to envision when he would assume that role, sources said.
    The Lakers, almost from the moment Howard arrived in August 2012, had gone to great lengths to assure the 27-year-old that they saw him as the future face of the franchise and that the torch would be passed from Bryant to him in short order.

    But with Bryant saying publicly just a week before free agency that he was thinking of playing at least two or three more seasons, it was hard for Howard to envision when he would assume that role, sources said.

    "How can it be Kobe's team and Dwight's team?" one source said. "It was about the passing of the torch."

    As an offshoot of those discussions, sources said, Howard's camp at one point asked the Lakers whether they were at least considering releasing Bryant through the league's amnesty provision, since Bryant's return date from Achilles tendon surgery remained in question.

    ESPN The Magazine's Chris Broussard reported last month that Howard and All-Star point guard Chris Paul had discussions before free agency about trying to land with the same team. Howard and Paul had interest in playing together in Los Angeles, with either the Lakers or the Clippers, or with the Atlanta Hawks, sources said.

    Amnestying Bryant and shopping Pau Gasol and Steve Nash to teams with salary-cap space would have allowed the Lakers to try to recruit Paul in free agency. But the Lakers, sources said, made it clear the prospect of releasing Bryant via amnesty or simply trying to lay out a finite timetable on the end of his career with the franchise was not under consideration, believing those decisions should and would be made by Bryant.

    Bryant made it clear from the first day of training camp this past season that the Lakers were his team, and he saw it as his responsibility to prepare Howard for that responsibility one day. Howard stated that he was anxious to learn from Bryant, Nash and Gasol. Both Howard and Bryant were amenable to that arrangement early, but as the season wore on, it became clear to Howard that there wouldn't be a clean transfer of power, sources said.

    "I just really think the timing in L.A., it wasn't right for me," Howard told ESPNLosAngeles.com last Friday. "Maybe two years ago, or 2-3 years from now, it would have been the right time. But I just think right now the timing was off for me. That's not saying that L.A. is a bad place, but I just think it's all about timing and fit when you're talking about basketball. You can put anybody together on the court and expect them to win, but the pieces have to really fit in order for a team to be successful and it was very, very tough, man. It's probably one of the toughest decisions I've ever had to make in my life."

    The Lakers, as ESPN.com has reported, were similarly unwilling to make a coaching change, even if it would have boosted their chances of retaining Howard, who has since publicly confirmed, in an interview with Hoopsworld.com, that he asked the Lakers to hire Phil Jackson in November.

    More on the Lakers

    For more news, notes and analysis of the Lakers, check out the Lakers Index. Blog

    "I think that we had our moments, but I think that his style was a little bit different than what I was accustomed to," Howard told ESPNLosAngeles.com of D'Antoni. "But I don't want to blame any of that on the coach as the reason why I'm leaving."

    Howard also didn't feel especially close with anyone in the Lakers' organization outside of general manager Mitch Kupchak, sources said. One source added that Howard had concerns about how the Lakers planned to market him after being disappointed with the franchise in that aspect last season.

    In his first public comments since Howard's departure, Bryant said Wednesday that he wasn't going to "waste my time trying to figure out what happened" and that he was "happy" for Howard, who "made the decision he feels is best for him."

    "I think everybody is cut differently," Bryant said. "[Howard] has his way of leading that he feels like would be most effective and would work for him, and obviously the way we've gone about it with this organization and the leaders that we've had -- myself, Magic [Johnson] and Kareem [Abdul-Jabbar] -- we've done it a different way."

    A handful of teams around the league, sources say, now believe Howard's decision to go to Houston had been set for weeks and that his meetings last week with potential suitors had little to no chance to change his mind.

    Sources close to Howard counter that the decision was largely clinched by the fact that he felt his best and earliest chance to win his first championship would be realized by teaming up with James Harden, Chandler Parsons and coach Kevin McHale with the Rockets.

    Golden State and Dallas made strong impressions on him in their pitch meetings, sources said, but ultimately Howard felt most comfortable, and much more enthusiastic about trying to win in Houston.

    Sources close to Howard nonetheless insist the Lakers and the extra $30 million they could offer him were hard to turn down. Howard had developed a close relationship with Kupchak in the center's year with the team and intended to inform the GM in person of his decision after flying back to Los Angeles from Colorado, a source said.

    Howard called the Mavericks and Warriors earlier in the day -- while his representative told the Hawks the night before -- so those teams could move on with their business in a timely fashion. By the time Howard landed late Friday evening, though, it had already been widely reported that he had decided on Houston, and Howard simply called Kupchak to deliver the news, a source said.

    Marc Stein
     
  2. rhadamanthus

    rhadamanthus Contributing Member

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    I find this, like much else from ESPN, to be less than trustworthy reporting.
     
  3. rockbox

    rockbox Around before clutchcity.com

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    Why can't the news report the truth. Dwight didn't want to play with an over the hill d******d.
     
  4. adw

    adw SuperClutchMan

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    "As an offshoot of those discussions, sources said, Howard's camp at one point asked the Lakers whether they were at least considering releasing Bryant through the league's amnesty provision, since Bryant's return date from Achilles tendon surgery remained in question."

    :rolleyes: I don't believe that for a second.

    Amnestying Bryant lol
     
  5. JMAD21

    JMAD21 Member

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    Why can't LA reporters just admit that the Rockets are a better organization than the Lakers right now?? In stead of seeing the facts they continue to dig up excuses. How about acknowledging the terrific work the Rockets have done over the past 2 years to make this a roster that DH12 can win with. They keep saying he couldn't handle LA... But the truth is that he couldn't win in LA!
     
  6. Swishh

    Swishh Member

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    This.
     
  7. flamingdts

    flamingdts Member

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    Lakers didn't say they considered it. Howard's camp merely inquired on the possibility.

    A implausible idea but I could see it being brought up.
     
  8. BarreKellyJr

    BarreKellyJr Member

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    Because ESPN loves riding the Knicks and Lakers Dick as if ESPN was a BIG BOOTY James Harden freak and Kobe dick was gold smh
     
  9. rocketjunkie

    rocketjunkie Member

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    What's wrong with the article? It seems consistent with with the insiders told us. It was obvious Dwight didn't like Kobe, and many people (including me but I wasn't the first) pointed out that Kobe staying for 3 years would make Dwight less likely to stay. Of course he'd want to know if Kobe can be moved. And of course he wanted phil. And of course he liked living in LA. And why wouldn't be be planning his escape to rockets? Doc rocket believed he was planning to come to houston since all star break (although if the lakers had changed tactics I think he would have stayed). I tend to believe this article. It was less a out "Dwight couldn't handle the bright lights" and more about the lakers would hire the right coach, the lakers were still kissing Kobe's ass and would do so for another three years, and Hou having a good team for him to join.
     
  10. Fyreball

    Fyreball Contributing Member

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    Kobe being an egotistical douche?? Why is that news? And why does ESPN feel the need to keep rehashing the same story 47 different ways? Whether Dwight left because of D'Antoni, or because of Kobe, of because of Lakers fans.....IT DOESN'T MATTER. What matters is that he left, and now it's time to focus on Houston and what they need to do to win a championship. It's getting so tiring hearing reporters like Adande, Platshke, Shelburne, and all the other hacks from ESPNLA come up with reason after reason why Dwight wasn't meant for the Purple and Gold. Guess what toolbags? He's gone, and he doesn't give a flying **** what you think.
     
  11. Old Man Rock

    Old Man Rock Contributing Member

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    It seems pretty straightforward to me. It's not the truth but it's accurate. The truth is Kobe is a primadonna b**** who wasn't going to relinquish anything to Howard. No passing of the torch. No giving up nothing. They would have to release Kobe for that to happen. If Dr. Buss were alive it might have been different. But the reality is Jim Buss is Kobe's b**** and never considered anything that Kobe didn't approve first. What makes it stupid is they think Kobe is the real star behind the championships but they win nothing without Shaq and Pau. Kobe thinks he's Jordan but he ain't no Jordan. he ain't no Lebron. He's a ball hogging arrogant basketball player with some athleticism.

    So now they think they can be serious players in 2014 free agency. I hope it works for them. I hope they sign Carmelo. Can imagine Kobe and Melo on the same team. That won't last long. He won't put up with Kobe. And the Kobe that got away with some BS because of Buss's passing won't get away with it this time. The bottom line is Kobe's a jerk and we are lucky for it. The Rockets have Howard because of Kobe. Amen
     
  12. adw

    adw SuperClutchMan

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    I don't see it being brought up at all. Howard couldn't even get the coach he wanted, you think he's gonna get rid of Kobe hah why bother asking? I could see him and his camp asking about the direction the franchise is going with Bryant's career coming closer to an end, but to release Kobe... sorry I don't trust espn "sources" with that one.
     
  13. adw

    adw SuperClutchMan

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    I think you missed my point. Why even bothering asking if Kobe's gonna be released when they didn't care about Howard from the start. That's even a more absurd question to ask the Lakers than replacing the coach and I just can't see Howard or his camp even bothering asking that. That franchise is still stuck in Kobe's world and will till he retires. I'm glad Howard is a Rocket and I'm glad they never hired Jackson or "he would still be a Laker"... those are his own words and playing with a old Kobe.
     
  14. KlutchQT

    KlutchQT Contributing Member

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    So first he bailed b/c he didn't want the spotlight and couldn't handle the pressure. Now he bailed because the spotlight wasn't coming quickly enough.

    [​IMG]

    Far be it from Laker Nation to consider the possibility that he wasn't happy there and simply didn't see LA as the end all, be all.
     
    1 person likes this.
  15. DirtyDizzil

    DirtyDizzil Member

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    Howard should of known that Kobe doesnt pass the ball, why would he pass the torch ?
     
  16. meh

    meh Contributing Member

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    I think it's safe to say that LA was simply a cluster**** and Dwight Howard couldn't really wait to get out of there. Basically he had nothing going for him. He didn't like his coach. Kobe was treating him like Tyson Chandler. Management treated him like 2nd banana rather than their future star. There was nothing to look forward to.

    In retrospect, it makes sense why Doc Rocket thought Dwight to Houston was more or less a done deal. Seriously, who WOULDN'T leave LA in that situation?
     
  17. morpheus133

    morpheus133 Member

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    Lakers without Jerry Buss and with an over commitment to Kobe are not guaranteed anything in the future. With more restrictive Luxury tax penalties, we will see what kind of GM Kupchak is. He pulled off the Pau Gasol trade, and drafted Andrew Bynum, and got Dwight to LA. But the Nash pick up looks like a repeat of the Gary Payton mistake, and he has made a lot of bad moves that were over come just by spending more than anyone else.
     
  18. Kruze10

    Kruze10 Member

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    After what happened when Howard agreed to go to the Rockets, I no longer trust anything ESPN journalists write. It had never been more evident to me that they really don't know anything and can literally create stories on their own without any reprocussions until that day.
     
  19. WNBA

    WNBA Member

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    This is pure ESPN. hot garbage.
     
  20. dobro1229

    dobro1229 Contributing Member

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    Broussard putting words in Dwight's mouth as if he's his personal PR rep or something.... typical Broussard BS.
     

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