Is Dwight Howard Really the Guy Laker Fans Want to Build a Franchise Around?

For most Los Angeles Lakers fans, Dwight Howard is not the guy who they want to build the team around. However, the Lakers front office has a different view—the right one.

Howard is a free agent this summer and has given the team no indication that he will re-sign or commit to a long-term deal after just one disappointing season in Los Angeles when he averaged about 17 points and 12 rebounds per game. The Lakers will do all that they can to bring Howard back to Los Angeles.

D12 has been pinned by fans of the team as childish, immature, lazy and soft. Are these unflattering terms accurate? Well, yes and no.

Howard has definitely had moments where the terms "childish" and "immature" were more than appropriate. The time when he got head coach Stan Van Gundy fired from the Orlando Magic and then forced his way into a trade probably takes the cake as the top highlight in that category.

There is a certain goofiness about Howard that is so likable, though. He would average more smiles per game than anyone else in the NBA if that were a statistic because the guy genuinely loves the game of basketball. Howard has taken some criticism for his happy-go-lucky style of play, but that hasn’t stopped him from flashing that grin as he runs up and down the court.

Shaquille O'Neal, one of Howard's biggest critics, had this to say about him (via ESPN LA):

"He's too nice," O'Neal said Tuesday on "The Max and Marcellus Show" on ESPNLA 710. "I'm a connoisseur of giggling and playing and all that and making you laugh and playing with the fans, but when I cross that line, I'm ready to tear your face off. I don't care who it is. You could put one of my aunts or uncles out there, and I'm going to give him these elbows in their chest and I'm going to throw it down in their face. That's what you have to do. ... He's just too nice. If I was him, I would get into the same mood I was in."
Article Source: Bleacher Report - Los Angeles Lakers