NBA reporter Ric Bucher says the current Houston Rockets center wanted the Lakers to fire Mike D’Antoni as coach, and to either amnesty or at least “muzzle” Kobe Bryant. Neither condition should come as a surprise to anyone who’s followed the situation.
It was previously reported that Howard was frustrated with the way D’Antoni used him last season, and that he disliked D’Antoni’s system. Another report from July said Howard wanted the Lakers to move past the Kobe Bryant era. Howard even admitted that the “timing” wasn’t right for him to stay with the Lakers.
The Lakers made the difficult — and in many cases unpopular — decision to make Kobe their franchise cornerstone in 2004 and trade Shaq to the Miami Heat. Though Shaq was the more dominant player at the time — he won a title in his second season with the Heat — Bryant was the better long-term investment for the franchise. The Lakers were in the same situation now but, instead of taking the better long-term play, they opted to keep the franchise in the hands of Kobe. I think it was a bad decision.