It was apparent during the 2020-21 season that the Los Angeles Lakers lacked a true rim protector and shot-blocking center. Marc Gasol, Andre Drummond and Montrezl Harrell all did their best but were unable to fill in that gap on defense.
Rob Pelinka made sure to address this need by signing Dwight Howard, reuniting the veteran big man with the franchise he won his first NBA ring with. Howard spent the previous season with the Philadelphia 76ers backing up Joel Embiid, but comes home to L.A. where he said he feels like he is meant to be.
Much like the rest of the roster, Howard is well past his prime but is still in incredible shape. The five-man explained how he has been able to maintain his physique entering his eighteenth season. “It’s just always just staying in the gym and also recovery,” Howard explained. “I think a lot of people think that you really just have to stay in the weight room, the treadmill to get in shape and stuff like that, but it’s all about the work you do away from the gym.
“How are you recovering, what are you eating and stuff like that. That’s the most important thing so I think as a whole, all of us understand that it’s gonna take us to be healthy all season for us to win. So for us, it’s just making sure that we recover the right way, making sure we’re eating the right foods. But also making sure that we stay disciplined with our time and our effort every day and I know for me, I have to get more rest and sleep early because I am getting a little bit older. So need to make sure I add that into my regimen now, get to bed by 11.”
Staying fit is an underrated aspect of being an NBA player and you will see players lose a spot on teams because they are not serious about their bodies. Howard was a physical marvel in his prime, so even though he is nowhere near the same athlete he has been able to stick in the league due to his regimen.
Dwight Howard tried to recruit Danny Green to Lakers
Aside from their size at center, the Lakers also could have used bigger wings to defend perimeter players. Howard tried to help out Los Angeles by recruiting Danny Green to come back, but the veteran wing ended up re-signing with the 76ers.
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