Given all the controversy he's endured in the last week, Dwight Howard might start wishing he never left Orlando.
The Lakers' center is now left to deal with comments of his own father, the latest person to chime in on the ongoing controversy between Howard and Lakers teammate, guard Kobe Bryant.
Dwight Howard Sr. told the Atlanta Journal Constitution that he was upset at the way Bryant has criticized his son, and that Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni has done little to stop the ongoing conflict between the pair, which some have called reminiscent of Bryant's prior feud with another former Lakers center, Shaquille O'Neal.
"The problem is the coach," Howard Sr. told the paper. "(D'Antoni) needs to step in and say, 'You guys have got to be quiet. We're trying to secure something here.' Dwight is probably looking at the coach, thinking, 'What are you going to do?' I promise, if that had been (former Magic coach) Stan Van Gundy, that wouldn't have happened. (Howard) wouldn't have been admonished publicly. I think the coach has a lot to do with who controls Kobe's mouth right now."
The younger Howard refused to comment about his father's comments when interviewed by ESPNLosAngeles.com.
"I'm not going to get into it," Howard said following practice Saturday in Miami. "My dad is a grown man. If that's how he feels, then we'll leave it at that. I'm not going to get into it."
Bryant also declined comment.
"Honestly, I'm done talking about it," Bryant said. "There's nothing to talk about. I'm done with it. There's nothing to discuss. It's silly."
The feud between Howard and Bryant escalated Thursday when Bryant told ESPNBoston.com that Howard needs to suck up the pain he has in his ailing right shoulder.
"We don't have time for [Howard's shoulder] to heal," Bryant said. "We need some urgency."
That prompted the younger Howard to quip about Bryant, "He's not a doctor."
Bryant has since said that his comments were taken out of context and that he was not criticizing Howard.
"(It was) just making a big deal out of something that's really nothing," Bryant said. "All year people have been trying to hang on to stuff," Bryant said of the media interest in the dynamic between him and Howard. "He's just got to go do his job, man. Just rebound, defend and we do our jobs and [fulfill] our roles on what we have to do to help us win. It's not rocket science."
D'Antoni said of the relationship between Bryant and Howard, "We're good."
As for Howard's father's comments, D'Antoni said, "That's cool. He should, he's the father, he should defend his son. But I thought we had that [meeting between himself and Bryant and Howard to discuss their feud] in Memphis. Maybe we have to do it again."