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LA needs a major upgrade

caines | 5/2/2013, 5:30 a.m.

Mercifully, the season of one of the NBA's marquee teams, the LA Lakers, came to an end this past weekend after they were swept out of the playoffs by the San Antonio Spurs. This was no major surprise when you look at the snake bitten roster of injured key players including superstars Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard. Now some decisions need to be made. How do you rebuild or reload and become a top tier team again? An even bigger question is, do you place the future of this legendary franchise in the hands of Dwight Howard? Truthfully I was struck with a revelation when Howard was ejected in game four against the Spurs after receiving a second technical foul in whatwasthe Lakers final game of the season. Howard was fully aware that he already had one technical foul when he was hit with his second which meant an automatic disqualification from the game. A game that he wanted no part of because his Lakers were being embarrassed by the obviously superior Spurs. Instead of showing the leadership qualities of the greatLaker legends before him, Howardbecame small and wanted out of the humiliation and abandoned his teammates. A real leader does not do that. There is now talk that Howard will test free agency and see what is out there before he totally commits to the Lakers, meaning his return is not certain.Lets be real, Dwight Howard is no Shaquille O Neal, he is no Kareem Abdul Jabbar and he is certainly no Wilt Chamberlain. He is mentally weak and has failed to show any real leadership qualities. I totally question if he has the goods to lead a team to a championship. Yes he was the centerpiece of an Orlando team that advanced to the NBA finals before but was that a case of Dwight putting that team on his back or the right pieces simply falling into place? Howard deserves credit for playing hurt and showing up big down the stretch for the Lakers as they struggled to make the playoffs. However he had an embarrassing exit out of Orlando, after he held that city hostage and nowhe threatens to perhaps do the same thing with the Lakers. Howard is not dominant like the aforementioned Lakers big men, he has limited offensive skills and hes immature and gets frustrated easily. Jeff Fox & Ed Freeman 560 WQAM Sports The Lakers can still one day build a championship team with Howard as a centerpiece but he is no Kobe, Lebron or Durant. Howard is just not that much of a difference maker, hes simply a head case. Whether Dwight stays with the Lakers or goes on to play somewhere else, whatever he decides, that acquiring team is taking a risk. While the economics of the game says he deserves a maximum contract, the question still remains is Dwight Howard a great player? At this point in his career the answer is a resounding no.