Will Dwight Howard Bolt Los Angeles Lakers After Nightmare Season?

Dwight Howard's first (and, perhaps, only) season with the Los Angeles Lakers came to an abrupt and all-too-fitting end during his team's 103-82 loss to the San Antonio Spurs in Game 4 of their 2013 NBA playoff series. With the Lakers trailing by 21 points with 9:51 left in the third quarter, Howard picked up his second technical foul of the evening—and was, by rule, ejected—for bickering at one of the officials.

For once, a Laker had been felled not by a spurious injury, as was so often the case in 2012-13, but rather by his own misgivings.

That image of a frustrated and DQ'd Dwight may well be the last anyone sees of him in purple and gold. Howard will be an unrestricted free agent on July 1, at which point the Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks and Atlanta Hawks (among others) are expected to compete with the Lakers for the services of a player whose career has been diverted somewhat by injuries and poor PR moves, but who was widely considered the best big man in basketball just over a year ago.

Now that Howard is in complete control of his own professional fate for the first time since he opted to jump straight from Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy to the NBA, what will he do?

Will he re-up with L.A. and attempt to etch his name in Lakers lore alongside the likes of George Mikan, Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Shaquille O'Neal? Or will he seek to set down new roots elsewhere across the basketball landscape?


2012-13 by the Numbers

The dichotomy between perception and reality marred Howard's "audition" as a Laker.

Dwight was so often berated, by fans and pundits alike, for seeming aloof and dispassionate on the court. He didn't move or dominate to the extent or with the consistency that he once had, which, when combined with his burgeoning reputation for selfish and childish behavior, left him looking like an uncaring l...

About the Author