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Dwight Howard revealed what message Jerry West told the Lakers during a special training camp visit this year ...
Howard spoke for close to 10 minutes after shootaround Friday -- a long time for a superstar on a game day -- and as he got going he reflected on the negativity surrounding the Lakers this year.
"We can’t just focus on the negative so much," Howard said. "I think we’ve been a victim of that a lot this year because we haven’t been playing our best basketball, so the smallest thing sticks out to us and to everybody else who is watching. When we’re winning, those little things wouldn’t be as big of a problem as they are now, so we have to try to turn those small negatives into a positive and try to get down on the right path."
That led Howard to talk about Lakers legend, and current Golden State Warriors executive, Jerry West, imparting some advice to the new-look Lakers back in the fall.
"When we first got here, Jerry West talked about that," Howard said. "Back in his day, it was a little bit easier because there wasn’t as much media attention like there is now and we have to be able to overcome that.
"Sometimes it’s tough, especially when you’re losing. You don’t want to turn on the TV and you have to be aware of what your friends and your family and other people are saying. You can’t get caught up into all that. You have to put all your focus and your energy in the team on the floor and it can be tough at times because every little thing, it sticks out.
"We mess up a play on defense or we miss a free throw or whatever it may be, it just looks like the end of the world. But, in all, it’s basketball. You’re going to miss shots, you’re going to miss free throws, you’re going to miss assignments, the refs are going to miss plays, we’re going to make mistakes, but we have to move forward and remember that we have a goal in mind and it’s still attainable.
"From now until the end of the season, the biggest thing is we have to be consistent. It starts with myself. I have to be consistent on both ends of the floor and with energy every night and it will get there."
The irony of the anecdote, of course, is that West is notoriously a negative person because of his competitive nature -- always dwelling on losses rather than savoring wins.