Former Laker great Shaquille O’Neal, who, like Howard, came to Los Angeles from Orlando, said Dwight Howard just could not handle the pressures of playing basketball for the Lakers in Los Angeles.
“It was expected,” O’Neal said over the weekend of Howard’s move to Houston. “We’ve all been in L.A., and not a whole lot of people can handle being under the bright lights. Everybody wants to do it, but when you get there, there are certain pressures. I think it was a safe move for him to go to a little town like Houston. That’s right, little town. I said it.”
The Lakers are to Los Angeles what the Yankees are to New York, the Red Sox are to Boston and what SEC football teams are to Southern states. Some, like O’Neal, embrace the pressure and thrive. Others, like Howard, can wilt, which is what O’Neal more than implied.