The giant billboards erected outside the Staples Center pleading for Dwight Howard, Bull Mastiff and starting center for the Los Angeles Lakers, have been met with enthusiam and tail wagging, according to sources inside the puppy’s inner circle. Five-month-old Howard had reportedly been considering alternative homes, such as the Houston Rockets and Atlanta Hawks, but was duly impressed by the fans’ desire for the cute fella to stay put.
“What do I think? It helps. It helps a lot,” he barked. “A lot of teams are looking for a scrappy dude like me. Lot of people rubbing behind your ears. This was definitely a wake-up call. After I saw the billboards, I called up Mitch [Kupchak] and told him, ‘I love you. I love you. You’re the best. I love you.’”
Bryant was one of the first to vocalize the movement for Dwight to romp around playfully for at least another season and also spoke candidly about his role in getting a deal done.
“Dwight, man, he’s a special dog. He came from a bad home where no one watched him, and I’ve definitely been stern with him from time to time. But at the end of the day, he’s my lil’ man, you know?” the future Hall of Famer said.
Other sources close to the Lakers organization have pointed to free agent signings and an attentive medical staff as possible pieces in a long-term deal that would extend into 2016, in which case Howard would be almost four.
“We’ve been very patient with his back and his many ailments. We’ve got him on the right medication and rehab from some of the best veterinarians in the country. Plus we brought in Steve [Nash], one of the best in league history for playing fetch. He’s staying,” coach D’Antoni said.
Howard could not be reached for comment after bolting toward the squeaks of [Houston GM] Daryl Morey’s chew toys and a rustling bag of treats.