Sports Out West

Dwight Howard signs with Houston, Lakers’ healing process begins

Photo Credit: Stephen Dunn / Getty Images

Dwight Howard made his decision to leave the Los Angeles Lakers via free agency and sign with the Houston Rockets official on Friday night:

 Nothing stings like getting burned the way Lakers fans did when the big man decided to spurn the Lakers for greener pastures, and at the very least now the healing can begin. 

Lakers fans expect a lot from their stars — undying loyalty, championship-caliber basketball year after year and the ability to do it all with intense scrutiny. Howard couldn’t handle all of those things, and he showed as much by taking the easy route by joining forces with James Harden and a crop of hungry young talent poised to take the next step forward under head coach Kevin McHale. 

Who’s to blame in the loss of Howard? Really, no one, because the Rockets and general manager Daryl Morey strategically positioned themselves to be in great position to attract a player of Howard’s caliber. They acquired James Harden via trade, drafted Chandler Parsons and added a global icon in Jeremy Lin, all factors that helped court the All-Star. 

As much as Lakers fans want to play off the notion that Howard is one of the league’s best players, the fact is that only one player averaged over 17 points, 12 rebounds and two blocked shots over the course of the 2012-13 season. He did so while hurt, and now the Rockets will reap the rewards of a fully healthy and motivated Superman. 

It’s enough to drive any Purple-and-Gold fan to the brink of tears, but like so many other painful aspects of sports, this too, shall pass and the Lakers can begin to mend their broken hearts and egos. 

It’s all part of the process. 

Photo Credit: Stephen Dunn / Getty Images

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Michael C. Jones is the managing editor and founder of Sports Out West and a Southern California-based sports journalist. His work is also regularly featured on Yahoo! Sports and SB Nation. You can catch up with him on Twitter: @MikeJonesTweets.