Dwight Howard Fine: Laker Calls His $35,000 Fine 'Excessive'

OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 22:  Dwight Howard #12 of the Los Angeles Lakers warms up before their game against the Golden State W
OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 22: Dwight Howard #12 of the Los Angeles Lakers warms up before their game against the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena on December 22, 2012 in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Lakers center Dwight Howard considered the NBA's $35,000 for committing a flagrant foul type 2 against Denver forward Kenneth Faried excessive.

"It's a lot for a flagrant foul. I was happy I didn't get suspended," Howard said. "I'm disappointed to be kicked out of the game."

Howard then made a promise.

"I can't allow it to affect me in a negative way to where I'm not playing hard," he said. "When I allow those petty things to get to me, it affects my teammates and we lose games."

Howard has "four points" under the NBA's flagrant foul policy.

Once a player reaches six points, they receive an automatic single-game suspension. Any further flagrant fouls earn a day's suspension per point.

"It's tough. He gets hit a lot," Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni said. "When you're tired, you can get frustrated."

Playing Through Pain

Despite nursing plantar fasciitis in his right foot, Lakers forward Pau Gasol vows he can play.

Gasol said he has been nursing the injury "for a while," but the pain in the arch of his foot increased recently. He then took an MRI on Thursday.

Gasol's stress fracture in his left leg during the 2003-04 season with the Memphis Grizzlies stemmed from plantar fasciitis in that foot, causing him to miss 23 games.

"We've been managing it," said Gasol, who's averaged a career-low 12.6 points on 42 percent shooting. "It feels better when it warms up."

Gasol also missed eight consecutive

games because of knee tendinitis.

"Every time you run, it stings," said Lakers forward Metta World Peace, who played with plantar fasciitis in both feet during the 2009-10 season, his first year with the Lakers. "When you warm up and after you play, it should be OK. Waking up in the morning is the worst. You can't even walk."

Slowly Progressing

Barring any setbacks on his surgically repaired lower abdominal strain, Lakers guard Steve Blake said he plans to participate in basketball drills next Wednesday.

"I'll start doing them if I can," Blake said in an interview with this newspaper. "If I can, I'll continue with it. If it bothers me, I'll slow back down."

Blake has played in seven games this season. After having surgery Dec. 5, Blake said he expects to return to the court within three to four weeks. He rested for 12-2 weeks following surgery before performing stationary shooting drills.


The Lakers retired Jamaal Wilkes' No. 52 jersey at halftime, making him the eighth Laker to receive such an honor. Wilkes, who won three of his four NBA championships with the Showtime Lakers, lent advice to the current Lakers.

"If you have to learn to play differently, do whatever it takes to be as successful as you can be," Wilkes said. "That will be their legacy."

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