Los Angeles Lakers point guard Steve Nash was present at the infamous meeting that took place between the Lakers’ contingent and Dwight Howard as he made his decision on where to spend the prime of his career; on Tuesday, he suggested that things escalated somewhat beyond the scope of a stock recruiting pitch.
“It actually got a little bit contentious,” Nash said on The Dan Patrick Show. “I think he went form not considering coming back to actually considering it. … We got some things out. Dwight was able to say things that bothered him about this season. We tried to figure out how it could work in the future.”
The mercurial big man wasn’t himself for a number of reasons. He played hurt for a majority of the season as he nursed back and shoulder injuries throughout the season and was at times portrayed in a negative light by fans and the local media for a number of reasons. All of that got to Howard, and he left $30 million in guaranteed salary to play in a better basketball situation.
Another factor as Nash mentioned was the rocky relationship between Howard and Kobe Bryant, who were at odds throughout their brief stint together as teammates. He went on to say that everyone managed to have their say. In the end, it was Howard’s decision.
The Lakers were the incumbent, so they always had a chance to keep him, but the Houston Rockets had several factors — a young team with superstar talent on the perimeter, an offense that could be adjusted to better suit him than that of Mike D’Antoni’s as well as two built-in Hall-of-Fame coaches who could help refine his offensive post moves. That’s why it wasn’t a shock to anyone when he ultimately decided that Houston was the best place to spend the next four years of his career.
Photo Credit: Cary Edmond / USA Today
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