Before this season, Dwight Howard was just considered a wandering player in the league. Ever since he left the Orlando Magic in 2012, the big man couldn’t find his place in the world. Everything started when he landed in Los Angeles to play alongside Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash in one of the worst super teams ever assembled. After that, things went only worse for Dwight, who couldn’t remain with one franchise more than one season after leaving the Houston Rockets.
Now he’s a veteran that has learned from the mistakes he made in the past and is on the right way, helping the Los Angeles Lakers reach the NBA Finals for the first time in 10 years. Curiously, Howard had one more year without making this stage than his current team. In 2009, the Kobe Bryant-led Lakers dominated his Orlando Magic to win the title in five games. He’s playing for the favorites now and is committed to giving his everything to help his team succeed.
“I just promised myself if I ever got a chance to get back, I was going to give everything I got,” Howard told reporters about returning to the Finals after 11 years.
— NBA TV (@NBATV) September 27, 2020
He has changed his approach to the game. He has gotten rid of his ego and is focused on the job. As soon as rumors surfaced about the Lakers trying to sign him, Howard showed his commitment to the team, he met with Anthony Davis and other players to discuss their expectations for this season and almost a year later, they are about to play for the Larry O’Brien trophy.
This is how you turn things around. Howard wasn’t seen as a valuable player in the league anymore until the Lakers gave him a chance. He changed his mentality, became all about the team and played a key role against Nikola Jokic in the Western Conference Finals. If you want a good history of redemption, here it is.