Howard to Lakers? Please don’t take him back

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Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

There have been a lot of stories the last couple of days about the Lakers taking back their ex-lover. The crushing news about DeMarcus Cousins’ injury has created a social media firestorm. For now, just understand the scuttlebutt coming out of L.A. that the Lakers are “seriously considering” signing Dwight Howard to replace Cousins is a foolish act of desperation.

Absolutely no question, the Lakers are that desperate to settle for so much less. And now, even after Howard dumped them for a mistress in Houston, the Lakers are destined for him. This is a wild scenario that’s not beyond the realm of possibility after the team confirmed on Thursday that Cousins had suffered a torn ACL in his left knee.

It was Howard, acting like a self-entitled diva, who broke the Lakers’ trust and yet they want to give him a second chance. It was Howard, turning into a prima donna and a cancer in the locker room, who felt it was necessary to betray a franchise and a city. Years have passed since Howard turned his back on the Lakers and ran to the Rockets, and then cried his way out of Houston.

The Lakers are asking for trouble if they announce a reunion with an all-time diva. Don’t hurt yourselves, it’s a bad idea to even consider bringing him back. Don’t waste your time, there’s really no reason to engage in talks with Howard when there are many options on the big man market. The list of players include Joakim Noah, Mo Speights, Marcin Gortat and Kenneth Faried.

Go ahead and bust up laughing. The notion of a second marriage to an ex-player—which would be a big mistake for Lakers—seems like a commitment they would make. Sure, Howard, facing an avalanche of criticism, carries around too much baggage. With his heavy bags, the burdens on their shoulders would take a lot of energy out of Lakers.

For so long they have invited unnecessary conflict and drama with those around the organization. If anything, the Lakers are lowering their standards, not being able to pass up on Howard. After years of headaches, after being eliminated from postseason contention for six straight years, the Lakers should not want him anywhere near them.

It was what Howard did in the past with the Orlando Magic that was even more damaging and egregious. It was what he did in the past with these Lakers that should have taught them a hard lesson about staying away from him. He’s not the one. He can’t possibly be the one. He never looked like the perfect fit, and he wasn’t that big man they anticipated him to be the first time around.

This is a playoff team again, after the strong offseason that the front office put together. The Lakers, devoted to loyalty and winning, have talent in abundance, so they are better off without a narcissist. They have a bunch of guys who are fearless, bold and hungry for a championship, so they don’t need an egomaniacal clown.

After Howard’s abrupt ending to a short stint in L.A., he was cast as a villain and quickly forgotten by fans. And while there’s still a very good chance the Lakers forgive him for breaking the promise he couldn’t keep, Howard is universally regarded as the most hated player.

It felt like betrayal when he departed to join the Rockets and he was never to be trusted since then, so no thanks. It’s not worth it. And it’s a real shame the Lakers would even put themselves in situations that are toxic.

As much as Howard would like for the Lakers to be kind to him, the reality is that he’s not wanted here. In going back and looking at his time spent with the Lakers, he was always so passive when he was on the floor and got hounded by multiple bodies.

If only the Lakers had known he was a lazy good-for-nothing before they acquired him as a rental that year. For what they know now about Howard, it’s wise to keep their distance from him and focus on evaluating a plethora of veteran big men who they have potentially targeted to fill the void left by Cousins.

Howard? If the Lakers are stupid enough to actually reconnect with him after a breakup, they would drown in regret over what was never meant to be. This being a different Howard, he’s open to returning to the Lakers. He might not be a nuisance anymore, but he was never fully invested in L.A. Maybe he’s grown up and changed, but he was too selfish to go out of his way for his teammates.

The hilarity ensues from the rumors floating around the Internet and into the league. Howard’s softness, along with his negative attitude, has undoubtedly cast a shadow over his career. It certainly painted a negative image of him, and his basketball career slowly disintegrated after the Lakers acquired him. That’s where his mere mortality ended, and he’s never been the same since. With the Lakers, he was downright arrogant and lacked empathy, and he still does.

For a guy who bounced around the league, Howard had quite the career in Orlando, then when he requested a trade from the Magic, he rested on his laurels and fell into complete obscurity. Everyone lost sight of how dominant he was, because he alienated his teammates with his attitude and clashed with ex-star Kobe Bryant, which determined his decision to leave the Lakers.

But if the Grizzlies waive Howard, he wants to get another opportunity to play with the Lakers, his ex-team. What unfolds next cannot be foretold, but the Lakers have already made a boatload of dumb decisions and should have learned from their mistakes by now.

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