Dwight Howard’s First Year as a Laker Ends in Disappointment

With the Los Angeles Lakers already down 3 games to none in front of several empty seats at the Staples Center Sunday night, Dwight Howard, the self proclaimed “Superman,” exited the building. The Laker center was charged with two technicals - the first coming in the 1st quarter after throwing an elbow, and the second came arguing with a ref in the 3rd as the game began to slip away.

Howard’s first season with the Lakers can be best described as tumultuous. Mike Brown was fired almost immediately and his replacement Mike D’Antoni failed to get the trio of Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, and Howard to blend both offensively and defensively. Howard’s injured shoulder caused him to miss time and some (Kobe Bryant included) accused him of not being able to play through pain. He was also seen laughing, smiling, and having an all around great time at the end of several Laker losses.

Laker GM Mitch Kupchak said back in February that “Dwight is our future.” When Howard becomes a free agent on July 1st, and if Mitch Kupchak still believes that he is the future, he will have plenty of incentive to remain with the Lakers. The Lakers’ can offer Howard a 5 year, $118 million contract. The best deal that any other team can offer him is 4 years, $87.6 million.

Kupchak’s decision on Howard becomes even more complicated with Kobe’s achilles injury. If he passes on Howard, can the Lakers open up next year led by Pau Gasol, Steve Nash, and Steve Blake?

Laker fans are in for an interesting offseason.

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