Dwight Howard started his career the best way, instantly becoming one of the best big men in the NBA, but after he decided to call it quits with the Orlando Magic and asked for a trade, things went downhill for the player.
Everything changed for Howard once he made it to Los Angeles to team up with Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, and Pau Gasol to create a superteam that ended up being a disaster for the things that happened on and off the court.
His back and forth with Kobe and his reluctance to try to improve his game made people question Howard’s work ethic, something that lasts until this very day. All of that took a different dimension when Kobe called D-12 ‘soft’ as well as several reports suggesting that the veteran put little effort to get better.
He’s been trying to recover his level after he left the Lakers, but Howard has earned a reputation that goes beyond anything he can say now.
That’s why, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, some Lakers players took matters into their own hands when news of a potential reunion between Howard and the Purple and Gold started circulating.
“Word traveled around the roster, and Davis, Rajon Rondo and JaVale McGee spent time with Howard inside the team’s facility Thursday. They wanted to know whether they could trust Howard, whether Howard’s mindset would fit this team.”
“League sources said Howard had a convincing and emotional meeting with the players and Lakers officials, explaining how he had reached rock bottom a season ago and needed to find a new mindset in his life. On and off the floor. He was not the teammate he needed to be in playing for three teams in the past three years. He did not take the game seriously enough, he did not understand what was needed to turn the corner.”
Knowing Howard’s reputation around the association, it’s not a surprise that some players decided to check on him and see if he’s on the same page. The Lakers are all in to win the championship this season, and their players are embracing that mentality, trying to build the best chemistry.
It looks like his new teammates got a good impression from Howard, as the Lakers are set to sign him once he gets bought out by the Memphis Grizzlies, which is probably the last chance he gets to have his redemption in the league.
If Howard told the truth and has actually changed his mentality, the Lakers are getting a hell of a backup in the future Hall of Famer.