The crappy play all season long, the death of owner Jerry Buss and Kobe’s Achilles injury just made the mess even messier.
But just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, Dwight Howard showed it could.
Even though the Lakers were getting swept by the San Antonio Spurs, with 10 minutes left in the 3rd quarter, he made the ultimate no-no of getting himself kicked out of the game when his team needed him most. And NBA/Lakers legend Magic Johnson, via Twitter, was none too pleased at Howard’s move:
“Laker Nation: Dwight Howard that was a big No, No. Your teammates and the fans were counting on you.”
“LN: Dwight, I’ve been swept before but I never let my team down by getting kicked out of the game.”
Now the all-star center is apologizing. Profusely. Here’s his mea culpa via Twitter:
“Im still upset about tonights game and the way this season ended. Im mad I lost my cool. Im sorry for letting my team and our fans down when they needed me the most. If there’s one thing I’ve learned this year its that I need to be more responsible for my actions and learn to “breathe”! (Maybe I will take up yoga and come back calmer or @charliesheen can help me with my anger management) But despite our tough season, it is an honor being a member of a team with this amazing history & the best fans in the league! I hope I get the chance to make it up to you!” Thank u la.”
Some would say he’s only apologizing because he may have blown his chance to come back and sign a $118 million deal. But after showing his true colors, a lot of folks think the Lakers would be better off without him. Here’s how the LA Times’ Bill Plaschke put it:
“When Howard begins negotiations with the Lakers on a contract that could pay him $118 million, the Lakers need to remember that message. They need to remember how, in a game in which they were swept out of the first round of the playoffs for the first time since 1967, the presumed new face of the franchise covered his eyes and bowed his head.”
Howard offered up this reflection on his situation on the court this season:
“I think I handled some situations good, some situations bad, it’s a growing process.”
But Plaschke put it in perspective:
“A growing process? The Lakers don’t need to rebuild their franchise around someone who admits his concrete is not yet dry. Howard’s ejection Sunday was symbolic of a season that revealed a player who is simply not prepared to be the sort of leader that the NBA’s greatest franchise requires.”
It’ll be interesting to see what the Lakers do. In the meantime, check out Bill Plaschke’s column on Dwight Howard and the Lakers, here.
Here’s what ESPN’s Stephen A Smith has to say. He didn’t bite his tongue, either. He called Howard’s ejection a “a straight up punk move”: