Shaq says it was a “safe move” to Houston for D12.
Los Angeles Lakers legend Shaquille O’Neal believes that it was a “safe move” for Dwight Howard to join the Houston Rockets.
Howard confirmed his switch to the Rockets earlier this week, after spending just a single season at the Staples Center with the Lakers.
The 27-year-old said he was joining the Western Conference outfit because he believes they give him the best chance of winning an NBA title, but Shaq had a different take on things and believes that he has made a “safe move”.
“It was expected. We’ve all been in L.A., and not a whole lot of people can handle being under the bright lights,” Shaq told reporters at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday as reported by ESPN.
“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.”
Howard averaged 17.1 points and 12.4 rebounds in his one season in LA, but also courted controversy throughout the year with injury issues and fall-outs with team-mates and coach Mike D’Antoni.
The Lakers had been hopeful of the center extending his stay in the city, but he cited timing being the biggest issue, revealing that it was the toughest decision of his career to make the switch elsewhere.
Nevertheless, the Lakers will hope to move on without him as they look to get Kobe Bryant back healthy and Pau Gasol tied up in a new deal. Moving forward, it remains to be seen what moves they make in the off-season, but they could potentially wait until next year to make some big moves in the market.
As for Howard, labelled “Dwight Coward” in the aftermath of his decision, he now joins the likes of James Harden in Houston, who will be looking to build on their appearance in the play-offs last season and go further than the first round.