|Posted by shawn cassidy on October 6, 2012 at 10:45 PM|
Phil Jackson may have stepped away from the NBA, but he's never been one to duck a controversy.
The former Los Angeles Lakers coach didn't exactly pick sides in the recent dust-up between centers Shaquille O'Neal and Dwight Howard, but said "there is a lot to what (O'Neal) says" when he characterized Howard as a "pick-and-roll" player with a more limited offensive game than more traditional back-to-the-basket centers Andrew Bynum and Brook Lopez.
Jackson described Howard as a better all-around player and complemented him on the improvements he's made to his offensive game in recent years, but noted Howard is still "learning the post game."
"Brook and Andrew are guys who have good touches. They're good scoring players and they have good offensive games," Jackson said on the "Waddle and Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000 in Chicago on Friday.
"Dwight is a guy that has that amazing athletic ability but the overall game -- rebounding, defending, blocking shots, running the court -- this is a guy that runs with the wolves, so to speak. He can get up and down that court as quick as any of the guards and forwards because of his athletic ability.
Dwight of course is the better all around player, but I agree with O'neal saying Bynum is better than Howard. I've always felt that way. Honestly I can see Howard getting lost in the Lakers offense this season, and maybe that doesn't even matter. But to be honest, Howard has a lot of flaws in his game, and maybe Kobe's guidance can help him.
"We as players, we always watch people before us," O'Neal said. "When I came in, it was Patrick Ewing and Hakeem Olajuwon, guys who played like true centers who played inside. What we have now are centers that are going to the European style, which is a lot of pick-and-roll. Dwight Howard, who's a pick-and-roll player, some people say he's the best center in the league, but me being an old-school center, I'm going to go with Robin Lopez and Andrew Bynum because they play with their back to the basket."
O'Neal later corrected himself to say he was speaking about Brook Lopez and not his brother, Robin, who plays for the New Orleans Hornets.
Howard responded to O'Neal after the Lakers practiced on Thursday, saying the former star should "just let it go" and that "it's time to move on."
Shaq has his reasons, and I don't blame him. Howard has big shoes to fill being a mega star center in LA. Wilt, Kareem, and Shaq enough said really. Howard is so far away from being one of the best centers ever. And that should say something about today's big men. Howard has it easy compared to Shaq's NBA of 15 years ago, or 10 years ago.
Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant returned to practice Saturday after sitting out both of Friday's sessions with minor discomfort in his right foot and will play in the Lakers' preseason opener Sunday night against the Golden State Warriors at the Save Mart Center in Fresno, Calif.
Dwight Howard also was a full participant in Saturday's practice, but Lakers coach Mike Brown said he didn't think Howard would play in Sunday's exhibition as he continues to recover from back surgery.
Kobe already a bit banged up, means nothing I'm sure.
Categories: Lakers News