Dwight Sr. Proves That Dwight Jr. Is Not Built to Be a Leader

Hadarii JonesSenior Writer IFebruary 9, 2013

BOSTON, MA - FEBRUARY 7: Kobe Bryant #24 and Dwight Howard #12 of the Los Angeles Lakers look on following a foul against the Boston Celtics during the game on February 7, 2013 at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

According to the Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant is done voicing his opinion when it comes to teammate Dwight Howard. After all, it would be hard to follow in the footsteps of Howard's father's blistering critique of the 2012-13 NBA season.

Dwight Sr. recently decided to throw a few barbs of his own in Bryant's and head coach Mike D'Antoni's direction—which would be fine if the younger Howard were a child, but he's not.

I'm all for standing up for your child when a perceived slight has been hurled in his vicinity, but last I checked Howard is 27. While Dwight Sr. standing up for his son may be admirable, there comes a time when the child has to step out on his own and grow up.

It seems like this may be a lesson that has escaped both father and son, and it may also explain why Howard can't seem to relinquish his childhood.

Much has been made about Howard's immature episodes in Orlando and his inability to view anything from a serious perspective, but maybe those qualities are something that Howard has earned honestly.

Dwight Sr.'s advice that his son just needs to sit down and hash out matters with Bryant seems like pretty good advice to me, but did Howard really need his father to point out the obvious? And was it necessary for Howard's dad to notify the media about his intentions?

And this is the guy the Lakers are expecting to lead them into the future, when he can't even figure out how to lead himself?

I'm not sure if Howard will ever regain his pre-injury form or dominance, but this latest episode should end any questions about Howard's ability to eventually lead the Lakers. Leadership is not one of his strongest qualities.

I'm well aware that some people will argue that Howard led the Orlando Magic to the 2010 NBA Finals, but I'm guessing that conclusion was more a result of head coach Stan Van Gundy and his system.

Howard has left an impression that he would much rather be loved and have fun than win championships, so it makes perfect sense that his father has to explain to him why Bryant has been so critical of him lately.

Dwight Sr. seems to realize that the Lakers' main goal every season is winning championships—especially for Bryant—but for some reason that knowledge seems foreign to his son.

Howard has a desire to prove that he plays second fiddle to no one, but one of the best ways to lead in that respect is recognizing what role best helps his team.

Howard will never be the No. 1 scoring option as long as Bryant is on the roster, but that doesn't mean he can't still be the most important piece of the team.

Instead of sulking and pouting about Bryant's latest statement to the media, why not concentrate on recapturing the defensive intensity that won Howard three straight Defensive Player of the Year awards?

Instead of worrying about the number of touches he receives in the paint, why not maximize every opportunity that comes his way by taking the time to refine his simple post game?

And finally, instead of running to his father to solve his big-boy issues. why not try wearing the shoes he jumped in by initiating the drama that started in Orlando and has followed him to Los Angeles?

Confronting an issue head-long and finding a solution are the marks of a true leader and an adult; unfortunately, Howard has yet to prove that he is either.