Over the 2012-13 season and into the current offseason, it was clear that the Los Angeles Lakers were attempting to make center Dwight Howard their future face of the franchise. In order for that to happen, Howard had several requests, and it’s been reported that one of those was for the team to part ways with head coach Mike D’Antoni. However, there was apparently more that Howard wanted, as Ric Bucher of CSN Bay Area reports that the center also asked the Lakers to amnesty, or “at the very least muzzle,” All-Star Kobe Bryant.
When Howard opted to sign with the Houston Rockets this summer, leaving money on the table in the process, it was assumed that the big man thought they gave him the best chance to win a title. Based on Bucher’s comments, it sounds like the Lakers could have kept Howard if they had decided to bow to his demands.
Bucher notes that VP of basketball operations Jim Buss wasn’t ready to end Kobe’s run in LA, and the team has also stuck with D’Antoni. It would have certainly been easier to part with Bryant now than ever, as he’s coming off of a major Achilles injury, but Los Angeles ultimately decided to move forward with him and sans Howard.