Lakers’ Kyle Kuzma Calls Out NBA Analyst for Comparing Paul George to Dwight Howard

Published 09/18/2020, 8:16 AM EDT
Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) and forward Kyle Kuzma (0) and guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (third from right) and forward Anthony Davis (3) huddle during the first half of a NBA basketball first round playoff game against the Portland Trail Blazers in the 2020 NBA playoffs at AdventHealth Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports


The Los Angeles Clippers crashed out of the Playoffs, and Paul George received a lot of blame for it. Following that debacle, NBA analyst Stephen A. Smith compared him to Los Angeles Lakers veteran Dwight Howard for the way they left their team to get a title but didn’t succeed.

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Howard’s teammate Kyle Kuzma wasn’t impressed with this comparison. He replied to the original tweet and called Smith out for his comments.

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George was atrocious in the Playoffs. Although 20 points per game on 39% shooting doesn’t sound as bad, his inability to show up in big games and the overall Clippers choke-job after having such a good team is what leads to the criticism. But is he really as bad as Howard?

Sep 7, 2020; Lake Buena Vista, Florida, USA; LA Clippers guard Paul George (13) brings the ball up court against the Denver Nuggets during the first half of game three of the second round of the 2020 NBA Playoffs at AdventHealth Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Lakers veteran Howard shouldn’t be disrespected this way

Howard is arguably the second-best center from the 21st century. Shaquille O’Neal is a no-brainer at first, but no one else has come as close to his levels of dominating as Howard did.

From 2009 to 2011, Howard won the Defensive Player of the Year three times consecutively. No one else in the sport’s history has won the award three seasons in a row. He has also been the rebounds leader for five seasons and blocks leader for two seasons.

Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard (39) makes a basket over Portland Trail Blazers center Hassan Whiteside (21) during the first half of the NBA’s first round playoff game in the 2020 NBA playoffs at AdventHealth Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

In 2009, he led the Magic to the Finals, and also beat LeBron James during that run, something Paul George has never done yet. Although he fell short in the Finals after losing to Kobe Bryant and the Lakers, that run was an unforgettable one.

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He may be 34 now and not the biggest contributor to the Lakers playoff campaign, but he knows his role well and has excelled in that so far.

Howard is bound to be a Hall of Famer already. If he goes to win a ring with the Lakers this season, that status just gets more solidified. As for Paul George, making the Hall of Fame is a distant dream as it stands. He has a lot more to do before he reaches the level of Dwight Howard.

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Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard (39) dunks the ball against Portland Trail Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic (27) during the fourth quarter in game five of the first round of the 2020 NBA Playoffs at AdventHealth Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

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Aaron Mathew

1556 articles

Aaron Mathew is a sports analyst at EssentiallySports. A graduate in Mass Media from Xavier’s College, Aaron has been a part of EssentiallySports since May 2020 where he covers both NBA and NCAA basketball news, and has also covered NBA 2K. In the past, Aaron has worked at the Sports Desk of Mumbai Mirror.

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