The big story tonight is not how the Los Angeles Lakers lost the game against the Boston Celtics, 95-116. The big story is that Dwight Howard was able to play at all.
LA Lakers star Kobe Bryant has finally joined Twitter
The Celtics were never really threatened despite the return of the Lakers big man. Boston lead through all four quarters at the TD Garden, with six players scoring in the double digits, compared with the Lakers who were led by Kobe Bryant’s 27 points, and only two other players scoring 11 (Jamison) and 13 (Meeks) points apiece. Howard could only finish with 9 points in 28:00 minutes of play.
Howard wasn’t even sure of playing tonight. He has been nursing a back injury since the beginning of the season and suffered a torn labrum in his right shoulder earlier this year. Compounding the Lakers’ woes, Pau Gasol has been diagnosed with a torn plantar fascia in his right foot, and will be out indefinitely. The injury could keep the Spaniard out for several weeks or more if he has to undergo surgery to repair the damage. Gasol was injured late in the 4th quarter during the Lakers' 92-83 victory over the Brooklyn Nets. His play has been bothered by tendinitis in both knees and fasciitis for the past 2 months.
Trade talks have been constantly in the air following the uneven performances coming from the two big men, and when you’re teammates with Kobe Bryant, expect some tongue lashing on or off the court. In this case, some venom was being thrown Howard’s way.
In an interview with ESPNBoston.com, Bryant said “We don’t have time for him to heal,” and added “We need some urgency.”
However, in a Los Angeles Times report, Howard denied his lack of urgency and instead wanted to focus on getting healthy. He said “He’s not a doctor. I’m not a doctor. So that’s his opinion… I mean, I want to play. But at the same time, this is my career, this is my future, this is my life. I can’t leave that up to anybody else because nobody else is going to take care of me.
“If people are [ticked] off that I don’t play, that I do play, whatever it may be, so what? This is my career. If I go down, then what? Everybody’s life is going to go on. I don’t want to have to have another summer where I’m rehabbing and, you know, trying to get healthy again. I want to come back and have another great year.”
In the same report, Bryant clarified that he wasn't asking Howard to return despite his injuries. Adding that he was surprised by how he was quoted on the ESPNBoston.com story. According to Bryant, “In this case, it's not legitimate. I was shocked.”
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