Why Jilted Los Angeles Lakers Fans Shouldn’t Be Mad at Dwight Howard

Those inflammable fans who burned Dwight Howard’s Los Angeles Lakers jersey need a lesson on perspective.

Howard didn’t ruin the Lakers’ failed attempt to win a title behind an injury-riddled veteran superteam. He didn’t ruin the Lakers by deciding to leave for the Houston Rockets, either.

Stop blaming the guy for damaging the franchise or for making an easy decision this summer—the issue comes down to bitterness.

Howard's decision to leave the Lakers was a shot at the fanbase's "no one leaves us" mentality. The culture has changed when the Purple and Gold are no longer the desired franchise. The superstar's decision to head to Houston underscores the reality of the Lakers' dim future, and that has become too much for some fans to handle.

But to persecute Howard for leaving? Or to degrade his talents as an elite center? That’s completely asinine. Last season wasn't Howard's fault.

Dwight Howard didn’t chronically injure Steve Nash, break Pau Gasol or Metta World Peace, nor did he tear Kobe Bryant’s Achilles' tendon. Howard wasn’t the reason Mike Brown got fired or why Mike D’Antoni couldn't adapt to his roster.

If anyone is culpable for the Lakers’ woeful season, one that resulted in a postseason but also a first-round sweep to the San Antonio Spurs, it’s certainly not Howard. While much of Los Angeles core lost time due to injury, Howard missed just six games despite coming off major back surgery.

All totaled, Howard played 76 games while averaging 17.1 points on 57.8 percent shooting, 12.4 rebounds and 2.4 blocks even though his usage (Insider subscription) of 19.9 was lower than it'd been since 2005-06 with the Orlando Magic.

No, he wasn’t Shaquille O’Neal or Wilt Chamberlain, but he never has been. He was exactly what the Lakers signed up for even if he didn’t meet overambiti...

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