Credit: AP

Dwight Howard finally won his longed-for NBA ring, 11 years after his first and only trip to the NBA Finals while he was the star of the Orlando Magic. Back in the day, Howard was one of the biggest stars in the league but Kobe Bryant and his Lakers had no mercy with him, beating the Magic in five games. He tried to return to the Finals, even playing for the Lakers in 2012/13 but as we all know now, that didn’t work out for the player and the team.

He left amid problems with Kobe Bryant in one of the worst assembled super teams in NBA history. Howard wandered around the league until he reconnected with the Los Angeles Lakers once again. DeMarcus Cousins’ injury ahead of the season gave him a big opportunity to prove his value and he didn’t miss it. From day one, he demonstrated he was ready to help a team succeed and that’s exactly what happened with the purple and gold.

On Sunday night, Dwight finally became an NBA champion in the same city where he lost his first chance to lift the Larry O’Brien trophy. Things are pretty different now for him and his career, but the journey brought him to this point and the player can’t be happier.

When he left the Lakers in 2013, Howard made it clear he wanted to make things up for the purple and gold. We never believed he was going to wear those colors until this year and things couldn’t have gone better.

Following the game, Howard recalled his time in LA and how that bad stint humbled him and changed his perspective of everything in the league. Howard committed to the Lakers this season and there wasn’t a day when he didn’t give his everything to help his team.

“It humbled me and forced me to continue to get better… I was very thankful to get another opportunity to play for the Lakers… I just wanted to give every single minute on the court, off the court, locker room.. give 110 percent,” he said.

Not even if this was planned, this would have been this good. This was like a movie for Howard and now he can finally call himself an NBA champion.