The 2012-13 season for the Los Angeles Lakers will forever go down as one of the most perplexing seasons in Lakers history. It was, of course, the season where the team was able to add Dwight Howard and Steve Nash to their core of Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, and Metta World Peace. The team had huge championship aspirations going into the season, even spawning one of the most infamous magazine covers of all-time.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 23, 2013
It wasn’t fun. The team was always reportedly butting heads, highlighted by the tense relationship between Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard. Eventually, the team got swept in the first round of the playoffs, and Howard left for the Houston Rockets afterwards in free agency.
Howard was recently asked about the season by Shams Charania/Stadium, and had this to say in regards to what exactly went wrong:
Well I just think there were two big problems, injuries and ego. For a basketball team, those two things can make-or-break you. When you got major guys on the team get injured it kind of takes away from what you’re trying to accomplish. And then when everybody isn’t on the same page because of their egos and what they’re being fed by people at home, their agents and stuff like that. And now you got everybody just out there doing their own thing. But when you take your ego away and leave it at home, throw it in the trash and just come to work and do your job, it makes everything a lot better.
“I just think there were two big problems, injuries and ego. What would I have done different? I would say wait until I was healthy… At times, I think wanting to be selfish cost everybody on the team.”
— Stadium (@Stadium) September 25, 2019
On one hand, Dwight Howard is definitely not wrong. He puts it almost perfectly that the 2012-13 season fell short of expectations due to injuries and ego. Steve Nash fractured his foot early in the season and was affected by it until he was shut down later, while Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol also missed time here and there with nagging injuries.
On the other hand, Howard’s statements are ironic since most of the problems with injuries and ego seemed to stem straight from Dwight Howard himself. The biggest of all the injuries for the team wasn’t an injury sustained within the season at all, as Howard never seemed 100% in the season after a back surgery performed in the prior offseason. He seemed to clash with Bryant and others on the team, which is surprising for a newcomer to do with Bryant who had already built up so much of his legacy with the franchise.
Also in the clip above, Howard states that he regrets not waiting until he was fully healthy to play for the Los Angeles Lakers. Also ironic given his initial statements, since it was seemingly his ego that made him suit up although being hurt. To be fair, Howard also says his selfishness was his other regret with how the 2012-13 season went.
That was a fun trip down memory lane right? Get ready for more Dwight Howard as the Lakers season starts in less than a month.