Dwight Howard was one of the biggest redemption stories in the history of the Los Angeles Lakers. The franchise originally traded for him back in 2012, but he stayed just one disappointing season before leaving to join the Houston Rockets.
After floating around the league for a couple of seasons, Howard would make his return to the Lakers for the 2019-20 season and was an absolutely crucial part of the team bringing home the championship, the first of his career. Howard was also solid last season with the Lakers, but he has yet to be picked up by a team this offseason.
Howard showed he still can contribute in a big way last season and he believes that as well. In an appearance on All The Smoke with Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson, Howard said that he still wants to play, but the lack of interest has him considering retirement:
“I wanna play, but at the same time, it’s like no teams that really wanna allow me to play. That’s how I’ve been feeling from the last situation with the Lakers. I felt like I did enough to help them win a championship to really deserve a spot on the team and a chance to start and get big minutes and it didn’t happen. So after that I was like, ‘Man, I don’t wanna have to bust my ass for another whole summer, train three-a-days, go on a crazy diet, do all this shit and then get back to a team and sit on the bench when I can really help somebody win and still play.’ Like I ain’t lost a beat. It’s just that I sit on the bench. So people don’t see that. Teams don’t see that and it’s been like, ‘Damn, do I wanna just call it quits and do some other stuff or go back at it and show people I still got?’”
It’s an understandable mindset to have. It takes a lot of work to prepare for an NBA season, especially at Howard’s age, and to put your body through that without knowing whether you will play is something most people wouldn’t want to do.
If we have indeed seen the last of Howard in the NBA it will put a cap on a Hall of Fame career as arguably the premier big man of his generation. And thankfully for him, he already has his next career move in place if he wants to go that route.
Howard shares Kurt Rambis story upon rejoining Lakers
While Howard did enjoy great success in his return to the Lakers, there may have still been some lingering hard feelings. The biggest reason for his success was accepting that much lesser role and apparently Kurt Rambis made sure Howard knew that he was not the same player he was in his prime.
Howard shared a story about Rambis coming up to him and telling him not to expect to be the same player anymore. Howard added that this made him realize he just needed to be quiet and do what he was told.
Thankfully, Howard did just that, embracing and shining in his role and helping the Lakers walk away from the season as champions.
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!