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Nash: Howard never embraced LA

The SportsXchange

Now that Dwight Howard is gone, former teammate Steve Nash believes the big man never wanted to be a Laker in the first place.

"Ultimately, I think Dwight wasn't comfortable here and didn't want to be here and I think if he didn't want to be here, there's no point for anyone in him being here," Nash told ESPN LA 710 radio on Tuesday. "So we wish him the best and move on."

Nash and Howard both came to the Lakers before last season. Then, after a season that ended with the Lakers out of the playoffs, Nash and Kobe Bryant tried to persuade Howard to stay. But their pitch during a meeting with the Lakers and the center last week proved fruitless. Howard announced last Friday that he was headed to the Houston Rockets.

"Frankly, I thought before the meeting, we didn't really have a chance and I'd like to think that after the meeting we had a chance," Nash said.

Nash said it was clear that the season frustrated Howard, who was bothered by a shoulder injury and also struggled to adjust to the Lakers' system.

"Dwight had some issues with the season," Nash said. "I think it kind of basically goes with what he said to the media that he never quite felt embraced in L.A. He never quite felt supported. That's basically it. I think in some ways you can read into that what you will, but I think he never quite felt comfortable at home and I don't know if that's anybody's fault.

"He didn't seem like he really wanted to do a pick-and-roll offense, maybe because he had run one in Orlando for so long and he wanted to get in the post more."

Part of the blame for Howard's desire to depart was placed on Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni, but Nash defended him.

"I think he's a bright coach and I think he's got a good touch with the team and I think depending on how this roster rounds out, I don't mind Mike D'Antoni in an underdog situation when everybody's kind of written him off," Nash said.

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