Phil Jackson isn’t the biggest fan of Dwight Howard’s game these days.
The legendary NBA coach recently sat down with Rick Fox, three-time NBA champion and current NBA TV broadcaster, who said he can’t help but think Howard would’ve stayed with the Lakers if Jackson would’ve been the coach. The Lakers hired Mike D’Antoni instead of Jackson the year Howard played with L.A.
“There’s a good chance that would’ve happened,” Jackson told Fox. “Dwight gave up a little bit early on the Lakers, but maybe it wasn’t for him, maybe he just didn’t find the culture exactly what he needed to blossom and benefit from the game. But it cost the Lakers a lot, it cost them a draft pick and they didn’t get anything in return.”
When Fox asked Jackson how he thought Howard was doing in Houston, he didn’t have the most favorable review.
“He’s doing I’d say OK,” Jackson said. “I think his game has gone backwards since he was in the ’09 playoffs, in the championship playoffs that year. I think he’s still a good defensive ball player, but the rehab and coming back into full physical activity that he had as a defensive player in Orlando, he’s still not quite back there yet. His post up game has not developed and that’s the one thing I felt he could really advance himself with Kevin McHale as his coach. I just don’t know if that’s happened or not this year.”
Click here to listen to this excerpt from the interview. The full interview will air on NBA TV on Thursday at 5 p.m.