What Dwight Howard Can Learn from Each Great L.A. Lakers Big Man

Does Dwight Howard need any more advice on how to be a great center in the NBA?

Of course he does, even though he already is the most dominant big man in the game. 

You never stop learning, and you can always improve. For the league's top defensive player and newest addition to the great tradition of Lakers centers, he can learn from some of the best to have ever played the game.

Howard isn't in Los Angeles just to make an appearance on Ellen. He's here to help the Lakers win a 17th world championship and perhaps sign a long-term extension next summer so that he might take his place among the iconic centers who have worn Purple and Gold.

Certainly there have been tremendous centers throughout NBA history who did not wear a Lakers uniform: Bill Russell, Hakeem Olajuwon, Moses Malone and Willis Reed, to name a few. But there were three Hall of Fame talents (and a fourth who will be) who did wear a Lakers jersey, and all could teach Howard a few things to move his game even higher than it already is.

George Mikan, Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Shaquille O'Neal all starred for the Lakers and left enormous imprints. Each one of these superstars brought something unique to the game and set standards that previously had not been seen.

Mikan was the first big center to play and star for the Lakers back when the team was in Minneapolis and the NBA was in its infancy. Known as "Mr. Basketball," the 6'10" Mikan literally revolutionized the center position. 


His ambidextrous hook shot was exciting and helped change basketball from a small man's game to a big man's game. He led the Lakers to the fledgling league's first title in 1950. Mikan helped the Lakers win four of the NBA's first five championships.

Mikan was all-world for his era, so you have to take what he meant to the game within that context. Howard could learn leadership sk...

About the Author