After winning the Larry O’Brien trophy Sunday night in a dominant closeout game against Miami, the Lakers have decided to give veteran center Dwight Howard a championship Ring-Pop instead of a traditional ring.
Howard, who’s in his second stint with the Lakers after a tumultuous stop in LA back in 2012-13 in which he and Kobe Bryant failed to see eye-to-eye, was on the roster throughout the Finals and even played significant minutes in a few playoff games. However, GM Rob Pelinka said he made a promise to the late Bryant before his untimely death earlier this year.
Pelinka, visibly impaired by champagne and Orlando tap water, admitted Kobe never fully welcomed Howard back to LA in the first place. “Kobe didn’t want Dwight to ever get a ring, even if he helped win one,” Pelinka explained, “and he definitely didn’t help win this one.”
Howard played sparingly during the Finals, although he did nail a 3-pointer in garbage time at the end of Game 6 after the Lakers had secured the win. The 16-year NBA veteran, notorious for preying on drunk women at nightclubs while he remains sober, admitted he’s most effective once his opponent loses the will to fight back.
Having been released by several teams in recent years for his alleged immaturity off the court, the Ring-Pop certainly seems more appropriate for Howard than a diamond-encrusted masterpiece he’d end up selling on Etsy.
Finals MVP LeBron James acknowledged the championship Ring-Pop, while fitting, was not the team’s first idea for Howard.
“We were gonna give Dwight a NuvaRing™,” James said of Howard, who has fathered five children with five different women, “but we knew the Ring-Pop was something he’d actually use.”
Lakers owner Jeanie Buss defended the controversial decision, arguing that a championship Ring-Pop from the storied franchise was an honor and should be viewed as such.
“What we’re giving Dwight is not just an ordinary championship Ring-Pop,” Buss explained, “it’s an exact candy replica of the $4 million apology ring Kobe gave Vanessa in 2003 after not butt-raping that girl in Colorado.”