With the Golden State Warriors coming to Staples Center on Friday night, Dwight Howard gets his first look at David Lee following some controversial and pointed comments from the Los Angeles Lakers’ center. Howard felt Lee took a cheap shot at him when the Lakers lost in Oakland, and Howard was not shy about hinting at retaliation.
“He got away with a shot,” Howard said after that game. “I will remember this game. I will remember that shot. He said he wasn't trying to do it. You can look at the play and see it for yourself. I will take care of it later.”
When asked about Lee after Friday’s morning shootaround, Howard said, “Listen, I’m not going to do anything stupid to mess our team up. So, don’t go out there looking and expecting me to go MMA on David Lee. There’s no need for that.”
Howard was saying all the right things, and he appeared to have a grasp of the grander picture for the Lakers. Also, his comments would likely put any extracurricular transgressions under a microscope and could result in punishment that Lakers cannot afford at this point.
“My teammates need me on the floor and they need me for the playoffs, so I’m not going to do anything stupid to mess myself up or mess David Lee up,” Howard continued. “The right way to go about it is just play ball.”
With the current debate in Los Angeles centering on Zach Greinke suffering a broken collarbone due to a brawl that erupted in retaliation of a hit batter, Laker fans will be happy to hear that Howard appears prepared to take the high road and focus on more than a personal vendetta against Lee.
After all, the Lakers need Howard in order to make the playoffs, and they need him if they get in.