(EL SEGUNDO, Calif.) — After a disappointing season, Los Angeles Lakers forward Metta World Peace has taken it upon himself to defend center Dwight Howard, saying he’s not to blame for the team’s poor season.
“I think we put a little too much pressure on Dwight and as responsible leaders, we gave him a little too much responsibility,” said World Peace.
“Kobe (Bryant), Paul (Gasol), and myself weren’t responsible enough,” he added. “We should have been louder voices. So, I take a lot of responsibility and I’m sure Kobe and Pau do also. So next year, we definitely will. We have to be the voice in the locker room consistently.”
During the offseason, the Lakers acquired Howard along with point guard Steve Nash, and many thought the Lakers would make a serious playoff run and challenge for an NBA title.
Instead, the team struggled to even make the playoffs. They wound up with the eighth seed while dealing with injuries to Howard, Nash, Paul Gasol, and Kobe Bryant among others. Over the weekend, the Spurs finally put an end to the team’s misery.
Howard is a free agent at season’s end, and can sign with any team that can afford him.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Jill Martin, CNN