Report: Dwight Howard required Lakers to fire Mike D’Antoni, ‘muzzle’ Kobe Bryant
Dwight Howard told the Lakers that firing head coach Mike D’Antoni and using the amnesty clause on — or at least “muzzling” — Kobe Bryant were “prerequisites” for him to remain in Los Angeles, CSN Bay Area’s Ric Bucher is reporting.
The Lakers responded by asking Howard to be patient and “gut this out” for another year, according to the report.
Howard, whose displeasure with playing for D’Antoni and alongside Bryant has been widely reported, eventually signed a four-year, $88-million deal with the Houston Rockets.
From Bucher’s report:
The Lakers apparently asked Dwight to be patient on both fronts for at least another season, telling him “hey, you’re going to have to gut this out another year,” a source said, although it sounds as if VP of basketball ops Jim Buss isn’t ready to abandon Kobe anytime soon. “Dwight didn’t want to play with Kobe for 2-3 more years,” Buss said. “I’m going to stand behind Kobe because of his history with the franchise.”
Howard, in the final conversations before leaving for Houston, didn’t specifically tell the Lakers that if coach Mike D’Antoni was fired he’d stay and the Lakers never made the offer to do so if it would convince Howard to re-up.