In the biggest and most confusing free agent move since Lebron James moved from his home state of Cleveland to take his talents to South Beach for the Miami Heat, Dwight Howard has left the LA Lakers to play for the Rockets in Houston. With expectations very high this past season for the Lakers, they simply did not meet expectations due to a rash of injuries along with an underwhelming performance from Howard, many feel that Howard jumped ship.
Count one of the greatest centers of all-time and Laker legend, Shaquille O’Neal, as one of them.
Shaq is one of the most beloved players in NBA history due to his ability to make people laugh and his success on the court. He spent 8 years as a Laker, but started his career in 1992 with the Orlando Magic. As such, Howard and Shaq are often compared with each other due to this similarities (personality, being centers, beginning their careers with the Magic, and playing for the Lakers).
However, Shaq does not welcome these comparisons:
‘It was expected,” Shaq said. ”We’ve all been in LA, and not a whole lot of people can handle being under the bright lights. Everybody wants to do it, but when you get there, there are certain pressures. I think it was a safe move for him to go to a little town likeHouston. That’s right, little town. I said it.”
I can’t blame him. Dwight Howard has all of the talent in the world, but has only been good at one thing, causing headaches. The guy got his coach fired, strung teams and franchises along multiple times, and has won nada.
I disagree with the notion that Howard jumped ship per se, he left an old team for a young, up-and-coming team. You could say that Shaq did the same thing in leaving Orlando to go to L.A. (team with no future to a team with one).
But anyone who compares Howard to Shaq has got to get their brain checked, because it is not even close, nor will it ever be.
- Dwight Howard chooses to leave Lakers , and there’s no going back – CBSSports.com (cbssports.com)
- Shaq: Howard couldn’t handle ‘bright lights’ of LA (cbssports.com)
- It’s Been Real: Dwight Howard Chucks The Deuces At The L.A. Lakers And Signs With The Houston Rockets? (bossip.com)
- Shaquille O’Neal: L.A.’s ‘bright lights’ were too much for Dwight Howard (nba.si.com)
- Shaq: L.A. spotlight was too big for Howard (espn.go.com)