The Los Angeles Lakers had been almost unanimously praised for the way they handled the 2019 NBA offseason, which will likely go down in history as one of the craziest.
Their first heavily criticized move came towards the end of August when they signed Dwight Howard as a backup plan after losing DeMarcus Cousins to a torn ACL. The move was highly criticized due to Howard’s previous stint with the Lakers as well as his inability to stick anywhere in the last four seasons.
Some of the anger from fans towards the Lakers was silenced when it was announced that Howard would only be signing to a one-year, non-guaranteed deal. This deal would pay Howard approximately $14,500 for every day that he’s on the roster starting Oct. 21, so this ability to cut him at any time for almost no cost makes it a worthwhile risk.
One diehard Lakers fan who came to Howard’s defense is Ice Cube. Cube is one of the Lakers most famous and dedicated supporters and his message to fans of the purple and gold was simple: Howard’s last go around with the Lakers should be left in the past and he should be given a chance to prove that he can still be a valuable asset, according to Arash Markazi of Los Angeles Times:
“I think Los Angeles should give Dwight a clean slate and let his game speak for itself,” he said. “If he can help, it’ll show and if he can’t, it’ll show. I would love for him to concentrate on what he does best — rebound, defense, blocked shots and lob dunks. If he can do that, Dwight will be all right. I’m not even going to think about the first go around. That’s in the past.”
Cube brings up a solid point about Lakers fans having to trust in the abilities that Howard still possesses. If he can stay focused, Howard can still play at a high level as he’s just two seasons removed from averaging 16.6 points, 12.5 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks for the Charlotte Hornets.
If that Howard can make a comeback and be at peace with playing just 15-20 minutes a night effectively, then this could definitely be a great risk by the front office.
Of course, Howard will have to prove he’s capable of that level of play without being a headache, but it’s alright for fans like Cube to be okay giving him a chance to do that.
Otherwise, Howard will be set up to fail before he even steps on the court.