James Worthy says he wasn’t a fan of Dwight Howard
Dwight Howard lost a lot of fans as he oscillated between NBA teams during the off-season.
Among them, count Laker great James Worthy.
“I wasn’t a fan of Dwight Howard,” Worthy said during a conference call Thursday morning to announce his new role as main studio analyst for Lakers games on Time Warner Cable SportsNet.
Worthy said that he likes players who put their head down and do their job. He lamented that with Howard, “there was too much conversation.”
“Who said this, I don’t like this coach. To me, that’s nonsense,” Worthy said. “Your job is to come in and play and deal with the situation that’s there.”
Worthy also greatly disapproved of Howard’s reticence to play for the Lakers.
“I was a little bit taken back. I think I heard him say ... if the Lakers drafted him, he wouldn’t take it,” Worthy said. “I knew that was gibberish.”
Worthy, however, made it clear that now that Howard is on the Lakers, he welcomes him to the team. He just thinks that the superstar with a larger-than-life personality needs a minor attitude adjustment.
“This is not Orlando,” he said.
After all, as Worthy pointed out, the Lakers have had a long history of great centers, including George Mikan, Wilt Chamberlain and Kareem Abdul Jabbar.
“It’s not like he’s bringing this onetime thing to the Lakers,” Worthy said.
Worthy thinks that Howard will adjust. He even suggested that the center could thrive alongside superstar Kobe Bryant -- provided that he understands one small thing.
“We already have one superman in this town,” he said.
As Worthy cautioned Howard, he praised Steve Nash, the Lakers other slam dunk acquisition this off-season.
“I think my favorite move of the summer was professor Steve Nash,” he said. “We haven’t had a point guard like that since Magic Johnson.”
Worthy said that the team’s success this season will hinge on whether Bryant will allow Nash to do what the Lakers brought him aboard to do.
“The key is gonna be if Kobe can defer to Steve Nash and let him run the show,” Worthy said.
Worthy called Nash a second coach on the court.
“He’s going to make Mike Brown’s job so much easier,” he said.
As for the Lakers chances of winning a championship this season?
Worthy said the team might not be there just yet.
“They look better on paper,” he said. “They look really good on paper. So does a counterfeit $100 bill until you try to spend it. They have work to do.”
Worthy, however, was quick to acknowledge that Bryant is hungry for his sixth championship and with both Howard and Nash, his chances greatly increase.
“They should be expected to make the Western Conference Finals, at least,” he said.
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