Dwight Howard is back in Los Angeles for his third stint in the city. After leaving at the end of last season to join the Philadelphia 76ers, the former 3X Defensive Player Of The Year has returned to the Los Angeles Lakers on a minimum contract. Dwight played one season with the 76ers, where he played back-up to star big-man and All-Star Joel Embiid. Howard and the 76ers enjoyed success in the regular season when they clinched the number one seed in the Eastern Conference.
But during the 2021 NBA Playoffs, the 76ers struggled greatly. They lost to the fifth-seed Atlanta Hawks in the second round, mostly due to the injury to Joel Embiid and the poor performance from Ben Simmons. Howard now returns to the team where he won his first and only NBA championship.
But before leaving the 76ers, Embiid left a great emotional message for the fans and the city of Philadelphia. He thanks the 76ers organization, front office, his teammates, coaches, and the fans of the team for the way they accepted him and made his stint there so enjoyable. At the end of the message, he left Ben Simmons with some humorous advice for his free-throw technique and abilities.
“To my brothers. This year we came up short,” said Howard before departing for LA. “But we had an amazing season. Thank you to the entire 76er staff. We will always be family. And Ben. Bend ya kneeeesss 😂😂😂😂”
Howard's second stint in LA was far more successful than his first. In his stint during the 2012-13 season, he struggled to mesh well with Kobe Bryant, as the two All-Stars struggled to form a good relationship with each other. The two had a very poor relationship with each other, and Howard ended up leaving the Lakers after just one season.
In 2019, the Lakers offered Dwight a non-guaranteed contract, as his stock had fallen greatly in the league. He repaid their confidence with solid performances through the season, especially during the series against the Denver Nuggets, where he was key in stopping Nikol Jokic. For his efforts, Howard was awarded his first NBA championship, 10 years after his first and only Finals appearance, where he was stopped by the Lakers. Howard and the Lakers will be hoping to recapture that magic once again next season.