Our new column for SheridanHoops.com is up. In this week’s pass around the state’s NBA scene, we look at Golden State’s slide in the standings, and the homestand that could make or break their playoff hopes, ask how legitimate the Clippers’ title hopes might be, and more.
For the Lakers, AK looks at this week’s Dwight Howard Controversy. This one, not entirely his fault, but still one for which he bears some responsibility. Here’s his take:
“Because it wouldn’t be a week in Laker Land without Dwight Howard creating some form of controversy, eyebrows were recently raised by an exclusive interview Howard gave to Kristine Leahy of KCAL9 and CBS2 in L.A. During the conversation, Leahy asked about Howard’s jovial persona – which doesn’t really exist much these days, but why kill a good narrative – and the perception his smiles reflect indifference towards winning.
This was Howard’s response:
“I understand coming here to L.A., Kobe’s here and for 17 years, Laker fans, they just see Kobe as somebody who’s serious. He seems like he doesn’t fool around or whatever it may be. That’s his personality. And just because I don’t necessarily make a [snarling face] or do all that during games or on the bench, that doesn’t mean I don’t care about succeeding or wanting to win. I always tell people, my team in Orlando was filled with people nobody wanted. And I was the leader. And I led that team with a smile on my face.”
Howard’s ex-point guard Jameer Nelson didn’t take kindly to this sentiment.
“At some point, when are you [Dwight] gonna as a man, when are you going to take ownership and stay out of the media in a professional manner?” Nelson told the Sentinel after Wednesday’s shooatround in Miami.”
Howard clarified after Wednesday’s comeback victory over the Hornets, saying he was referencing how several of his teammates had been traded around (Hedo Turkoglu, Rashard Lewis, Vince Carter, Matt Barnes), and yet the Magic reached the 2009 Finals and 2010 Eastern Conference finals. However awkwardly phrased, his comments were meant to reflect how he proudly led an underdog team to success.