Phil Jackson Thinks Dwight Howard may Leave Lakers Because of D’Antoni
There’s a prevailing sentiment out there, that Dwight Howard will re-sign with the Los Angeles Lakers simply because they’re the Los Angeles Lakers.
Phil Jackson isn’t certain that will be the case when Howard finally makes a decision on his future. According to Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times, when asked if Howard should return to the organization, Jackson didn’t feed the Lakers hype machine, instead he criticized how they utilized the center.
“Would you? If you felt like your game wasn’t going to be featured?” asked Jackson on the Dan Patrick Show.
“You have to play in to Dwight Howard. You have to get back and reestablish him as the center that he potentially was going to be,” said Jackson. “This year … he had four or five less touches in the post. Most of the things he got in there were on the move.”
Many will think that these comments are an indictment against Mike D’Antoni, but the Zen Master says the Lakers coach shouldn’t be blamed at all.
“It’s not Mike’s style. I don’t blame Mike for that,” said Jackson. “That’s the ownership or management made that decision. That was the decision that they have to live with.”
Jackson believes if Howard is to succeed as a Laker, there has to be significant change in the team’s philosophy.
“Now it’s a critical time, is Dwight going to stay with them or leave?” asked Jackson. “Now they have to figure out are we going to use this guy in the best possible form and support him in this role?”
“They can reform that team and they can do it the right way, I think, but [Howard] has to be the keystone of what that future’s about in that organization,” said Jackson.
Phil has 11 rings so I’m not going to sit here and disagree with him, but Howard has to return to his dominant form from two years ago, if the team is going to lean on him. Lakers fans only saw flashes of the player who once considered himself “Superman” this past season.