Dwight Howard apologized on Wednesday for selfish remarks made after the Los Angeles Lakers 95-83 loss to the Chicago Bulls on Monday night.
ESPN LA’s Dave McMenamin reported on the mea culpa that followed a closed door meeting, at which the team aired its grievances with each other.
Howard had waved a box score around in the locker room Monday night and pointed out that he only got five shots from the field for the entire game.
That was after he had robotically mouthed platitudes in the immediate aftermath of the loss about the team having to stick together and work through their obvious problems.
The Lakers record at mid-season is 17-24 prior to the team’s game tonight in Memphis, and they have lost three games in a row.
After an uproar over the two faces of Dwight that occupied 36 hours of LA sports radio talk time, Howard faced media today.
“That’s over with,” Howard said. “I can’t think about it. That was immature. I shouldn’t have done it, but today is a new day and today is a new game. I have to put all my energy into winning and sacrifice whatever I have to do, humble myself and go out there and play.”
He continued, “People look at stats, and sometimes I myself look at and get caught up in stats, but stats don’t determine the game. I can affect the game without even scoring the ball, so I got to get back on that.”
Roll the tape back to 2009 when Dwight Howard was in an Orlando Magics uniform. After a selfish outburst and bickering with coach Stan Van Gundy the big man said:
“Getting the ball shouldn’t be a big issue for me. There’s more ways to dominate the game than scoring. Me and coach, we talked about that. I just can’t let my frustrations get to the point where I’ll say anything.”
Then in December 2011, at one of the low points in Howard’s relationship with Van Gundy, the Associated Press reported on what the center had to say:
“Right now me and Otis (Magic GM Otis Smith) are gonna continue to try to make this team better,” he said. “And I’m gonna do my part on the court. That’s the reason I’m here. To get our team better and to make myself a better leader for this team.”
The Lakers knew his propensity to blow off steam, deny he did, then admit and apologize. They knew he could be a coach killer. Today’s quote is nothing new. With the team’s season sinking slowly in the west, one can expect more of the same.