Los Angeles Lakers guard Steve Nash said Tuesday that Dwight Howard had “difficulties assimilating” with the Lakers in his only season with the team.
“Ultimately, I think Dwight wasn’t comfortable here and didn’t want to be here and I think if he didn’t want to be here, there’s no point for anyone in him being here,” Nash told “The Mason & Ireland Show” on ESPN LA 710 radio on Tuesday. “So, we wish him the best and move on.”
Nash, along with Kobe Bryant, joined in the Lakers pitch to persuade Howard to stay in L.A. He was not confident heading into the meeting with the three-time Defensive Player of the Year.
“Frankly, I thought before the meeting, we didn’t really have a chance and I’d like to think that after the meeting we had a chance,” Nash said.
Howard chose the Houston Rockets over the Lakers on Friday.
“Dwight had some issues with the season,” Nash said. “I think it kind of basically goes with what he said to the media that he never quite felt embraced in L.A. He never quite felt supported. That’s basically it. I think in some ways you can read into that what you will, but I think he never quite felt comfortable at home and I don’t know if that’s anybody’s fault.”
Nash, a two-time league MVP, said now that Howard is gone, the Lakers have to focus on building a team for the coming season that the fans can feel “good about.”
“We got a lot to play for, to try to make our team into something — championship or not — that our fans are proud of and feel good about and can’t wait to go see out there on the floor every night and try to beat people,” Nash said.
“A lot of it depends on health,” Nash added. “Am I going to be 100 percent? Which I totally believe I wholeheartedly will be. Is Kobe going to be at what level? I wouldn’t put anything past him. Is Pau going to be sitting ready for a full season? And Jordan [Hill], after his injury, too. If we’re all healthy, and we’ll see how we round out the roster and how we come together, who knows what we’re capable of. But I definitely start, regardless of any of those answers, finding a way we can be a playoff team and then let’s see if we can make something special out of it.”