Ric Bucher's post on Basketball | Latest updates on Sulia
I know you're tired of this story and I hope this is the last post on the Howard-Lakers subject but an important
clarification from my previous item: Howard,in the final conversations before leaving for Houston, didn't specifically tell the Lakers that if coach Mike D'Antoni was fired he'd stay and the Lakers never made the offer to do so if it would convince Howard to re-up. Did Dwight have issues with his role in Mike's offense? Yes. Was he enamored with playing for Phil Jackson? Apparently. But the fact is he's headed to the Rockets, who run -- or have run -- practically the same pick-and-roll offense that D'Antoni employs and, as Jeremy Lin insinuated recently and I've observed firsthand, Kevin McHale can be as publicly ascerbic as D'Antoni or any other coach assessing a player. While there are those who insist the Lakers had the wherewithal to keep Howard, the feeling is not unanimous: some involved believe he never intended to stay. That, perhaps, is why it's difficult to put this story in the rearview mirror -- because the reasons that Howard is not a Laker are vital in defining both who he is and who the Lakers are in the wake of Dr. Buss' death. Those reasons remain a point of contention. This is certainly not the first time that has happened in the wake of a star player changing addresses -- or even a star center leaving the Lakers, re: Shaq -- and maybe this is a subject better tackled by a marriage counselor or divorce lawyer, but if the parties involved can't agree on what prompted their split, maybe that's a sign that they weren't meant to be together.