One thing that constantly followed Dwight Howard throughout his NBA career whether he was with the Los Angeles Lakers or any other team is his playful demeanor.
Howard was seemingly always laughing and joking even when it was time to be serious and this sometimes caused issues with teammates and coaching staffs.
In almost every stop, it seemed as if Howard clashed with either a head coach or teammate which is why there was concern about bringing him back to this Lakers team looking to win a championship. They even went so far as to have Howard sign a non-guaranteed deal and his willingness to do so shows his mindset about simply wanting to prove himself.
Howard has done just that so far during the 2019-20 NBA season and been one of the biggest surprises. He recently spoke with Sam Amick of The Athletic about his change in attitude, noting that he simply had to separate his playful self from business time with the Lakers:
“I’m the same person. I love to have fun, love to enjoy life. I just separate it. There’s a time and a place for everything. I’m here for business. When I go home, that’s when I can be who I want to be. But right now, when I put on that jersey and when I come in this locker room, it’s about the Lakers. And that’s it.”
It is undoubtedly a change in mindset for Howard and it has served him well so far. Oftentimes, it takes players a long time to truly understand the ideal ways to go about things and Howard has grown mentally. He believes in what the Lakers are doing and what they can ultimately accomplish:
“Everything is a sacrifice,” he continued. “It’s nothing hard, but sometimes you have to really give to get, so what are you willing to give up in order to get? The only thing that matters is this moment. I’m enjoying every single day being able to play here and what we’re trying to accomplish. The main thing is that we all stay on the same page – the organization, the players, the fans and everybody. If we’re on the same page, there’s nothing that we can’t accomplish.”
Sacrifice is important for any championship team. Howard likely could have found another team where he could get more minutes and possibly a starting job, but the opportunity to win a championship is more important to him.
Howard has been willing to do anything asked of him and so far, he’s been doing it very well. If he can keep it up, he just may be a key in bringing them another championship.