- (Photo: Reuters/Jim Urquart)
Dwight Howard, 27, may have recently expressed his discomfort with the 2012-2013 Los Angeles Lakers season, but the team's veteran guard Kobe Bryant has some advice for him.
Howard played his entire career as a center for the Orlando Magic before joining the Los Angeles Lakers this season. However, a number of Lakers fans recently turned on Howard when the center was ejected from a playoff game against the San Antonio Spurs last weekend, resulting in the team being swept for the first time in over 40 years.
While Howard called the season a nightmare, he will have an opportunity to choose another destination as an unrestricted free agent on July 1. However, Bryant advised him against doing so in a recent press conference.
"We all pride ourselves on being businessmen to a certain extent. I think from a business standpoint it makes more sense, both contractually and also perception-wise," Bryant said in an ESPN report. "This is an incredible market. It's a great place. A lot of things go well for you when you win here. If I was him, I'd re-sign."
Although Bryant and the team's other big man Pau Gasol have contracts coming to a close next year, the veteran guard said he believed that his Lakers could have a shot at a championship with Howard's return.
"Our contracts are ending. ... Pau [Gasol] is up after next year. Hopefully, we get Dwight [Howard] locked up so he's here for a while and the future is kind of set already. So let's take a crack at this thing," Bryant said recently in an ESPN report. "We can win a championship, no doubt about it."
Still, Howard has made it clear that his first season with the Lakers was not an easy one to get through.
"It's like a nightmare, it's like a bad dream and we couldn't wake up out of it," Howard said after the game that ended his season last Sunday. "That's what it felt like. It seemed like nothing could go right from the start, injuries and all that stuff, but we can get an opportunity to get some rest for guys who are injured, coming off injuries. A chance to rehab and think about what we can all do to better ourselves."