Lakers: Stephen A. Smith Disusses DeMarcus Cousins Injury, LeBron James

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 13: DeMarcus Cousins #0 of the Golden State Warriors reacts against the Toronto Raptors in the first half during Game Six of the 2019 NBA Finals at ORACLE Arena on June 13, 2019 in Oakland, California. 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 Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

DeMarcus Cousins tore his ACL and the Los Angeles Lakers needed a replacement.

LA signed Dwight Howard because Cousins will be out all season with his injury.

Howard is a five-time All-Defensive team member, has won the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year award three times and also took home the NBA Slam Dunk Contest crown.

Last summer, the Washington Wizards signed Howard after he was traded from the Charlotte Hornets to the Brooklyn Nets and was eventually being bought out.

When on the floor for the Wizards, Howard was effective this season.

He averaged 12.8 points and 9.2 rebounds in 25.6 minutes per game.

“I am excited to get back to work next season,” Dwight Howard told me in June.

“I’m going to continue to get better, continue to smile and continue to enjoy life.”

The injury to Cousins could not come at a worse time for the Lakers and Boogie. As a member of the New Orleans Pelicans, two seasons ago, Cousins suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon

Boogie posted 25.2 points, 12.9 rebounds and 5.4 assists for New Orleans before suffering that setback in January.

The four-time NBA All-Star, who signed a one-year, $5.3 million deal to play for the Golden State Warriors last season, returned to the Warriors’ lineup in January and posted an impressive 16.3 points, 8.2 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 1.5 blocks and 1.3 steals in 30 regular-season games.

“It’s a team full of high IQs,” Cousins told me last year. “I believe everyone on our team has a very high IQ when it comes to the game of basketball. All of us know how to play the game of basketball.”

As for Dwight Howard, appearing on Hot 97’s Ebro in the Morning, ESPN First Take host, Stephen A. Smith was asked by Ebro Darden how Howard will benefit Lakers All Star, LeBron James.

“There is no two together,” Smith told Darden of James and Howard.

“That’s LeBron because Dwight don’t matter.

“This is not Dwight Howard in Orlando. You have no say in LA especially since that’s a place that you left on your own volition to go join the Houston Rockets. You have no cache in LA.

“I think he’s trying to survive and resurrect. He ended up there because he was stuck there and he had no choice. Remember, originally it wasn’t supposed to be him. DeMarcus Cousins goes down and that’s the only reason why Dwight Howard ended up in LA. So when you look at it from that perspective, it’s about LeBron [James], it’s about Anthony Davis, it’s about Kyle Kuzma and the other parts that they put around them. Dwight Howard is the least valuable player to the Los Angeles Lakers in terms of personality and stuff. They don’t have to tolerate nothing. They’re doing him a favor. He knows it and now he has to make the most of it. They’ve given him a last chance. And oh by the way, in order to sign him, I was told that at least four or five players met with him privately before the Lakers agreed to do it and the Lakers actually allowed the players to make the decision as to whether or not he would be brought on to the Lakers. The Lakers didn’t make this call. They allowed the five players to do so.”


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