|This guy's dad wants everybody to sit down and talk things out. (Getty Images)|
In case you were wondering how things could possibly get more embarrassing for Dwight Howard this season, his dad back in Atlanta is now speaking out and offering up his own take on the Los Angeles Lakers' tumultuous season. Howard has had one of the most frustrating seasons of his career while battling injuries, coaching changes and alpha dogs.
As Howard tries to manage the pain of a torn labrum, he has been under scrutiny because of comments by Kobe Bryant and Mike D'Antoni about the playing status of the team's All-Star center. Howard has been cleared to play and has played in the team's last two games, but there has been a bit of uncertainty as to whether he's sucking it up enough for the good of his teammates.
His dad told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he believes Kobe was out of line and that D'Antoni needs to control the situation better:
“I told him before he said it publicly, ‘It's your career. No person can say what you need to do or not do. You can't worry about what Kobe or anybody else says,' ” the elder Howard said. “Nobody can say what Kobe said -- that's stepping into another man's shoes. I understand what Kobe was trying to do, but he went about it the wrong way. He's trying to win a championship. But Dwight has to tell Kobe, ‘I appreciate your opinion, but that doesn't matter. We're two men on this team. We need to be reasonable about this.' ”
Dwight Sr. said he believed Bryant was trying to motivate his son, but that the advice was misplaced, adding: “The problem is the coach. [D'Antoni] needs to step in and say, ‘You guys have got to be quiet. We're trying to secure something here. Dwight is probably looking at the coach, thinking, ‘What are you going to do?' I promise, if that had been Stan Van Gundy, that wouldn't have happened. [Howard] wouldn't have been admonished publicly. I think the coach has a lot to do with who controls Kobe's mouth right now.”
While I would imagine Dwight appreciates the support from his father, does any adult in their mid-to-late 20s want their parents fighting their battles for them? Dwight Howard Sr. believes the coach, Kobe and Dwight need to have a sit-down to discuss everything that needs to be settled.
It's also very interesting to see that he believes the coach controls Bryant's mouth in any way. Phil Jackson found ways to relate to Kobe and make him understand the big-picture aspect of what they were trying to accomplish, but I don't know that anybody would have ever said Jackson was able to control what Kobe said.
When Bryant was informed of what Dwight's dad said and what he suggested as a course of action, I wouldn't say Kobe was exactly open to the idea. Via LA Daily News:
“Honestly, I'm done talking about it,” Bryant said. “There's nothing to talk about. There's nothing to discuss. It's silly.”
D'Antoni wasn't dismissing the idea like Bryant did, but he did feel like something along these lines had already happened in Memphis:
“That's cool,” D'Antoni said. “He's his father. He should defend his son. But I thought we had that in Memphis. We're good.”
Although the Lakers managed to come back and win against the Charlotte Bobcats on Friday night, they are still toiling in mediocrity right now. They're 24-27 this season and 3 1/2 games behind the Houston Rockets for eighth place in the Western Conference. Howard has been made to be the main scapegoat with this team. With his acquisition to go along with Steve Nash, Pau Gasol and Kobe, this team was supposed to run through the Western Conference and challenge the Oklahoma City Thunder and Miami Heat for the 2013 championship.
Instead, they've been one of the laughing stocks of the NBA and in constant he said-she said drama throughout the season. They've had three coaches, countless injuries to key players and battled depth issues all season long. Kobe would like to get past the drama and just find ways to win:
“It's people who try to harbor and hang onto stuff all the time,” Bryant said of the dynamic between him and Howard. “He just has to do his job, go out and defend. We do our jobs and do what we need to do to help us win. It's not rocket science.”
If only it were that simple, Kobe.