Among all of the players the Los Angeles Lakers lost last season, few absences were felt as much as big man Dwight Howard. His physical presence, defense and rebounding were a huge reason the Lakers won the 2020 NBA Championship.
He also brought infectious energy that could be seen and felt both on and off the court. Howard made it clear that he wanted to return to Los Angeles this offseason and he got his wish, re-joining the Lakers for his third stint in the Purple and Gold.
And once again, Howard is focused on bringing that same positive energy not just to the team, but to fans across the world.
“Yes sir, always. I always got to stay positive. There’s no need to be negative,” Howard said at Lakers Media Day. “There’s no need to bring any negative energy around. There’s so many things that have happened in our society in the last couple of years with COVID being the biggest thing that has really just shocked our world. All of us have lost people, lost things, lost possessions and stuff like that so it’s been a very difficult year for a lot of people, but I think that through basketball and through what our team can provide and the other teams in the other cities: we can provide just a level of love and peace for a lot of people around the world and hopefully we can provide that this year.
“I know for myself I just want to spread a lot of love and give some good smiles and some warm hugs and enjoy this season. I know it’s COVID. Everybody’s got to stay away but I love you guys [the media] and I’m looking forward to this season.”
Basketball truly does provide an escape for many from everything happening in society and Howard is embracing that, truly wanting to bring smiles to people’s faces. No joy for fans was greater than when the Lakers brought home that 2020 NBA Championship and Howard and the rest of the team plan on replicating that.
But Howard also understands that this is a new team and you can’t just do everything the exact same way. That being said, he has a lot of confidence in this team because of their passion and love for the game.
“I just think that I know we have that trophy and I think we have to separate. It’s a whole different team from that team and I think with this team right here you look around this roster and I think the reason why we feel so confident in who we are is because [of] the love we have for the game and the way we express it,” Howard added. “All of us are very passionate players when we step on the floor. We have so much passion. We play with energy. We play with effort and we’re all about our business when we step on the court and I think this is going to be a great season for all of us. The love that we share with this game of basketball; I think it’s going to push us over the top.”
When you really love doing something it is obvious and Howard can already tell that this team is full of people who love what they do and are completely committed to the task at hand. Howard wants to spread love and joy and success on the court will bring nothing but happiness and joy to Lakers fans around the world.
Howard reflects on two things he’s learned from previous Lakers stints
Howard being a beloved member of the Lakers is something no one would’ve predicted a few years ago as he was despised by fans following his defection in 2013. But Howard has grown a lot since then and humbled himself, recently reflecting on the things he’s learned most in his two previous stints with the team.
“Stay in the moment, always,” Howard said. “Always stay in the moment and two, always stay positive. You never know what life is gonna throw your way so instead of complaining, instead of being upset about it, just staying positive and knowing that everything is always gonna be OK. Everything is gonna work itself out.”
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