Los Angeles Lakers: Why Dwight Howard Might Leave

The Los Angeles Lakers want Dwight Howard back (via The Los Angeles Times). Does he want them?

Here is a crazy thought. What if Dwight Howard just doesn’t like Los Angeles? What if Howard follows the advice given to every prospective employee? Namely, go find a job that you enjoy because in the end, a higher salary won’t buy career satisfaction.

In some ways, you have to be an L.A. transplant to understand this. No one loves Los Angeles like Angelinos. In other words, despite what some Southlanders might think, the rest of the country is not dying to live in Los Angeles.

The assumption amongst many fans is that, Howard would obviously want to be with the Lakers. After all, it’s the Lakers. We can debate about whether the Lakers or Celtics are the most storied franchise is all of basketball, but I think it is fair to say that no other franchise has accomplished what those two teams have done over the years.

Perhaps that legacy is intriguing to Dwight, but perhaps it is intimidating. Can Howard ever live up to the legacy that has been created by Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Jerry West, and Kobe Bryant? Even Shaquille O’Neal, who was not exactly a career Laker, contributed to three championships.

That is a tough act to follow.

As fans, we love to play behavioral psychologist and analyze the personalities of players. We do not have qualifications to make these types of clinical assessments, but we do it anyway. So, here is mine.

Like many professional athletes, Dwight Howard has grown up being adored, admired and idolized by people around him. He likes the attention. He wants to be loved and courted. Obviously he is not unique in this regard. Lots of athletes are this way.

Howard is entering that unique free-agent period where he is the coveted athlete on the market. He will be wined, dined and chased.

What if Dwight does not trul...

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