Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard refused to discuss comments made by his father, Dwight Howard Sr., regarding his relationship with coach Mike D’Antoni and star guard Kobe Bryant after Saturday’s practice in Miami.
“I’m not going to get into it,” Howard told ESPNLA.com.
Howard Sr. gave an interview to Jeff Schultz of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and expressed his displeasure with the way that Bryant publicly criticized his son and how D’Antoni didn’t do anything to prevent it.
“The problem is the coach,” Howard Sr. told the newspaper. 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 (former Magic coach) 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.”
In response to his father’s comments, Howard said: “My dad is a grown man. If that’s how he feels, then we’ll leave it at that.”
D’Antoni said things are just fine between the three. He said he was not offended by the comments made by Howard, Sr.
“That’s cool,” D’Antoni said. “He should, he’s the father, he should defend his son. But I thought we had that [meeting] in Memphis. Maybe we have to do it again.”
However, Bryant appeared to be annoyed.
“Honestly, I’m done talking about it,” Bryant said. “There’s nothing to talk about. I’m done with it. There’s nothing to discuss. It’s silly.”
The issue started on Wednesday when Bryant told ESPNBoston.com’s Jackie MacMullan that the Lakers did not have time for Howard’s right shoulder to heal and that the team needed a sense of “urgency.”
Howard said that Bryant was not a doctor, so he had no clue what type of pain he was feeling.
Since giving the interview, Bryant said his comments were strongly misinterpreted as an attack against Howard. His comments were a way to draw more media interest to the Lakers, who have been having a dismal season.
The Lakers are 24-27 and sit in the 10th spot in the Western Conference standings. The team will wrap up its seven-game road trip on Sunday against the Miami Heat. They have a chance to finish the road trip 5-2 and that’s what Howard is focused on right now.
“We can only control what we do [Sunday], and if we come out and play well and get a good win, then we can go back home and say we did a good job on this road trip,” Howard said.