It has been a rough year for Dwight Howard. The big man finally forced a trade to the Los Angeles Lakers, but it has not been perfect for him there. He has dealt with numerous injuries and he has come under fire for his performance. Recently, it is his ability to play through injuries that has drawn criticism from Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash.
Steve Nash on Dwight: “I think everyone has got to play through some pain in this league”
— Mark Medina (@MedinaLakersNBA) February 7, 2013
I find this to be a bit surprising but it’s really not that unexpected. The Lakers need Howard to play, since the entire team is getting destroyed by injuries. However, he seems not up to the task. I understand that he is injured and he is a free agent after this year, but it sounds like his teammates feel he is trying to protect himself for his next contract.
We will see if this causes more tension in LA. It has been a strange year for the team, and it could end up being one that has them missing the playoffs. Bryant is playing out of his mind, and Nash has been solid since he returned from injury, so the X-factor is Howard. With Pau Gasol out for at least the next six weeks, the team needs Howard to play. If the pressure from his teammates does not work, it could be a long year for the team.
We are going to learn a lot about Howard over the next few weeks.