Dwight Howard has been the topic of controversy many times during his tenure in the NBA. While a trade seemed inevitable given the ugly situation in Orlando, the media and fans often criticized Howard for his inconsistent stance on what he wanted done to keep him in town.
After months of rumors and various trade scenarios, D12 is the newest member of the Los Angeles Lakers. With huge expectations coming to Staples Center and many wondering if he can coexist with Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash and crew, former Lakers superstar Kareem Abdul-Jabbar knows exactly what Howard is going through. He thinks the seven-footer doesn't need to change a thing.
Similar to Howard a couple of months ago, Abdul-Jabbar also asked for a trade when he was with Milwaukee back in the day. Here is some of what he had to say in a recent LA Times article about Howard's chances in LA and what must happen first for everything to work.
"Giving the personalities a chance to mesh" is critical, Abdul-Jabbar said. "Everyone understands the game, especially Pau, Nash, Kobe [Bryant] and Metta [World Peace]. They all have great basketball IQ. It's not about them being knowledgeable. You just have to mesh their personalities and playing styles together in a smooth way."
And as for what the big man needs to do on the court to be successful:
"I don't know if he needs to change his game that much," Abdul-Jabbar said. "He just needs to show up and give what he normally does. He's a beast on the boards. He plays on both ends of the floor. And he provides post-up points."
"Dwight is very committed to playing and winning," Abdul-Jabbar said. "Andrew has been up and down on that issue. There are times he wants to play, do a great job and he goes out and does it. Then there are other times where it seems like he's not focused."
It should be an exciting year in Los Angeles. All of the pieces are back in place for a title run; now it's just a matter of fitting them all into place. That is no easy task, but it's doable if everyone pulls their own weight (and keeps their egos in check).
For more on Howard and the Lakers, check out Silver Screen and Roll.