MIAMI — The Lakers have talked plenty about what ails them this season. Rarely, have they actually corrected them.
But with Dwight Howard facing endless scrutiny regarding his injured right shoulder and how he fits in with the Lakers, his father, Dwight Howard Sr., told the Atlanta Journal Constitution he needs to have a sitdown with Kobe Bryant and coach Mike D’Antoni to hash things over. After all, Bryant has received plenty of attention for comments attributed to him in an ESPN.com report this week suggesting Howard needed to return quickly even if his shoulder isn’t fully healed. Although he denies it, D’Antoni also indirectly has suggested the same thing.
But the involved parties don’t have any interest in the idea. Instead, the Lakers (24-27) say they’re strictly focused on Sunday’s game against the Miami Heat (33-14) at American Airlines Arena.
“Honestly, I’m done talking about it,” Bryant said. “There’s nothing to talk about it. There’s nothing to discuss. It’s silly.”
D’Antoni wasn’t necessarily opposed to it. He just believes the Lakers have already gone down that path, including having an air-it-out meeting two weeks ago in Memphis. Part of that meeting involved Bryant confronting Howard about his frustration surrounding his offensive role.
“That’s cool,” D’Antoni said. “He’s his father. He should defend his son. But I thought we had that in Memphis. We’re good.”
Howard also had little interest in adding to the storyline.
“I don’t want to get into it,” Howard said. “My dad is a grown man. That’s how he feels. We’ll leave it at that.”
Howard offered a similar comment on his dad’s assertion that he will re-sign this summer with the Lakers.
Whether Howard Sr’s comments reflects his son’s level of thinking remains to be seen. The AJC article quotes his father as saying his son has talked to him frequently about this season and his frustrations. Howard conceded they talk everyday but nothing about basketball.
“That’s what’s he’s supposed to do, support his kid,” Howard said of his father’s comments. “He’s going to do the best at that.”
In recent days, Howard has strongly defended himself for sitting out two games last week because of his aggravated labrum in his right shoulder. Howard also bristled at Bryant’s comments attributed to him that suggested he needed to return even with an unhealthy shoulder, quotes Bryant maintains were blown out of proportion.
“It’s really not that big of a deal,” Bryant said. “In Boston, they made something out of nothing. There wasn’t anything I said that was out of the ordinary or nothing I said before talking to him. They made a really big deal out of something that is really nothing.”
Instead, Bryant praised Howard’s intentions on how he’s handled his back and shoulder injuries and adjusting to a reduced role on the Lakers.
“He’s doing the best he can,” Bryant said of Howard. “Obviously he’s limited in what he can do for us as opposed to what he was doing when he was in Orlando but he’s still giving it a good effort.”
Part of that effort involves getting past the he said-he said drama that forever encapsulates the Lakers.
“It’s people who try to harbor and hang onto stuff all the time,” Bryant said of the dynamic between him and Howard. “He just has to do his job, rebound and defend. We do our jobs and our roles in what we have to do to help us win. It’s not rocket science.”
Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org