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Doc Rivers Says The Los Angeles Lakers Wouldn't Play In The Finals Without Dwight Howard

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(via The SportsRush)

(via The SportsRush)

Dwight Howard is an interesting figure in Los Angeles Lakers folklore. Some of the older fans may remember Howard butting heads with Kobe Bryant, and the failure of that superteam with Steve Nash and Pau Gasol. But everyone who watched the NBA Finals watched Dwight Howard's redemption, as the future Hall of Famer finally got his desired championship.

To win, Dwight Howard sacrificed a big role on the team. His goal was to win with LeBron James, and he achieved his goal while redeeming his image in Los Angeles. In an article by Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer, new Philadelphia 76ers coach Doc Rivers praised Dwight Howard and lauded his revival as a player.

“Then, last year was a resurrection for Dwight Howard,” Rivers said of Howard playing for the Lakers. “Like, he couldn’t get signed. And then he goes to the Lakers and wins a ring. And that Denver series [in the Western Conference finals], they don’t get to the [NBA] Finals without Dwight Howard.

Dwight Howard played a crucial role in stopping Denver Nuggets big man Nikola Jokic. Howard is an athletic rim protector, and combining him with Anthony Davis made it really hard for the Nuggets to score inside. With Howard providing that extra interior presence, the paint was essentially controlled by the Lakers. Jokic couldn't get the Nuggets over the hump, and the rest is history.

On the Philadelphia 76ers, Howard looks to embrace a mentorship role for Embiid. Howard can bring the championship pedigree that he gained with the Lakers onto the 76ers, and be a valuable veteran in mentoring Philadelphia's two young superstars. From not being signed to being able to get a new deal with the 76ers, Howard's career looks like it has entered a new stage.