Dwight Howard's dad comes to junior's defense

Dwight Howard’s dad has spoken out about all the talk publicly about Howard’s roller coaster season with the L.A. Lakers.

Howard had missed a few games with a shoulder injury and Kobe Bryant essentially told reporters he needs to suck it up and play. Kobe has since backtracked saying he was not pushing Howard to suit up.

In a recent piece by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Howard Sr. pretty much reiterated what junior said about Kobe's comments. Howard is an Atlanta native.

I told him before he said it publicly, ‘It’s your career. No person can say what you need to do or not do. You can’t worry about what Kobe or anybody else says,’”

Ok, fair enough. Although if anyone can call you out publicly about playing through pain, it’s the five-time champion. It’s been well documented that Kobe’s played through broken fingers, back injuries, etc.

Howard wouldn't talk about his dad's comments after the Lakers practice Saturday, except to say, "My dad is a grown man. If that's how he feels, then we'll leave it at that. I'm not going to get into it."

The most interesting quotes in the piece from Howard’s dad were about Howard’s former and current coaches.

The problem is the coach. (D’Antoni) needs to step in and say, ‘You guys have got to be quiet. We’re trying to secure something here. Dwight is probably looking at the coach, thinking, ‘What are you going to do?’ I promise, if that had been Stan Van Gundy, that wouldn’t have happened. (Howard) wouldn’t have been admonished publicly. I think the coach has a lot to do with who controls Kobe’s mouth right now.”

Wait, what? Van Gundy called out Howard all the time in the media. He even talked publicly about Howard trying to get him fired. So saying Van Gundy would fix this problem or any problem involving people being a little too chatty is disingenuous to say the least.

Van Gundy also never had a player like Bryant on his teams. The closest he had was Dwyane Wade in Miami, but we all know how that ended. As much as Boston fans hate Kobe, they have to admit that he’s earned the right to speak his mind either in the locker room or to reporters. Sure, D’Antoni is a pushover, but at this point in his career, not even Phil Jackson could keep Kobe sounding off if he sees his team failing. And they are.

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