A second chance for Dwight Howard

Nolan Smith

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Look up in the sky, it’s a bird, it’s a plane, its superman… or is it super bum? Dwight Howard has signed with the Los Angeles Lakers. But this isn’t your typical free agency signing, as the team holds all the cards with this deal as Howard signed a non-guarantee contract.

Which means if the Lakers decide to cut ties with Howard before the Jan. 7 non guarantee contract deadline, it will come at no cost to the teams salary cap.

To the majority the Lakers signing of Howard may come as a desperate move, but with Demarcus Cousin out for what may be the rest of the season due to a torn ACL, and the unwillingness from Anthony Davis to take a role as center, the Lakers were in dire need of roster depth.

The Lakers did their homework before signing Howard, as the team worked both centers Joakim Noah and Marreese Speights before deciding that Howard is the right fit.

But even at 33, Howard’s ability to be a dominate defender and rebounder isn’t the reason why this reporter is skeptical of the move, and why I referred to him to as “super bum.” It’s Howard’s inability to be a mature veteran on and off the court, he should be in his 16th NBA season.

In 2012 the Lakers struck gold when they acquired Howard, whom was considered to be the best defending, and pick and roll big man in the game.

Aligning Dwight with the best pick and roll point guard in the game Steve Nash, and the best scorer in the game Kobe Bryant seemed like a win for the Lakers so they thought.

But as soon he arrived in LA he refused to be the pick and roll player that he was in Orlando.

Dwight quickly got on teammates bad side with his on and off the court antics, refusal to play in the system, taking criticism from teammates personally, to the point he lost interest in playing for the Lakers during the season, which rubbed teammates the wrong way.

Even though Dwight has been very productive in his career averaging 17 points per game, and 12 rebound per game.

His soft minded, cry baby, diva like persona is what has plagued him over his career, to the point that in the last five season he has played on five different teams.

Those issues is has led to his non guarantee contact offer by the Lakers, and during those negations why some current Laker players where there during the process, team official and roster members made it clear to Howard that if he was not willing to take a smaller role and cooperate with the system that he would be cut imminently.

The 8 time all-star has convinced the Lakers official that he indeed understands how he is viewed by teams around the league and that this could be his last shot.

Howard is reportedly opened to being a different player, and accepting any role necessary to help the Lakers succeed, as he told the team he “hit rock bottom” last season.

There is no doubt that Howard can be productive for the Lakers as he averaged about 16 points per game , and just a little over 10 rebounds per game in viable minutes with Charlotte and Washington.

But it’s the other antics previously discussed that has this reporter doubting the move.

The real question is, is Howard really “humbled” as he claims he is to take a rim protector/rebounder in a limited roll. Or will it be more of the same with Howard, all smoke and mirrors, saying all the right things just to get another NBA contract he doesn’t deserve.

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