Los Angeles Lakers Rumors: Metta World Peace Criticizes Dwight Howard as Atlanta Hawks Target Free Agent with Stan Van Gundy Reunion

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May 13, 2013 04:24 PM EDT
Dwight Howard
Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard (12) slam dunks the ball (Photo : Reuters) "

Much has been made of Dwight Howard's season in Los Angeles. While the Lakers' season came to a disappointing end, the brunt of the blame was place on Howard throughout much of the season. As the All-star center prepares to enter free agency, teammates are speaking out on his on-the-court antics. The always out spoken Metta World Peace recently spoke out on his possible former teammate to shed some light on Howard.

MWP sat down with a local news station to discuss all things basketball. The biggest topic of conversation was Howard. MWP admits he was not too fond of Howard at first, noting the constant goofing off was hard for him to accept and was frustrating at first.

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"At first it did. When I first met Dwight in our first practices together and our first games in the regular season I was like, 'he's joking a little bit too much.' But then I decided not to judge people and I decided to work with my teammates-so as I got into more games with Dwight-I did see him working really hard, blocking shots, playing with a back injury, but he was still playing hard. So then I said, 'you know what, we just have to work with what we have,'" MWP said.

That type of goofing off may or may not Howard being presented with a satisfying contract by the Lakers. There has been no official word on whether or not the Lakers are going to off Howard a new contract and no word on whether or not Howard would even accept said offer. While the Lakers continue to mull over their future, plenty of other teams are interested in acquiring Howard.

The Atlanta Hawks are reportedly making Howard a priority this offseason. Howard is an Atlanta native, so a return home is not crazy to consider. The only question will be whether or not the Hawks have the pieces in place to lure Howard to the team. They are prepared to let leader Josh Smith walk away for a max contract, leaving very few pieces to entice Howard with. 

The Hawks are considering convincing coach Stan Van Gundy to replace current Larry Drew. He might be the piece that gets Howard to Atlanta in free agency. Howard could easily visit many teams and eventually just re-sign with the Lakers. But, with injuries and age creeping in on many of the team's current stars, they too might not have enough to get Howard.

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