The Los Angeles Lakers have a roster comprised of several high-profile names that are past their primes but still can contribute in a limited role.
One of those veterans is Dwight Howard, who is returning for his third stint with the Lakers after spending last season with the Philadelphia 76ers. Even at this stage of his career, Howard is a powerful screen-setter and rim protector who should be able to feast on lobs from players like LeBron James and Russell Westbrook.
Howard is a sure-fire first-ballot Hall-of-Famer once he decides to hang up his sneakers for good and he is excited to get to play next to some of the game’s greatest.
“It will be crazy,” Howard said. “It’s something that’s really hard to fathom, just imagine seeing all of us on the floor at the same time. Not on the All-Star team, not on the Olympic team, not for a charity game, but for an actual season, all of us will be together. So I think that’s gonna be great. All our guys are hungry, we want to win, we want to stay in the best shape as possible, so I think it’s gonna be an awesome time this year just having everybody on the floor practicing, going hard, understanding that it’s only one mission and that’s to win the championship.”
The Lakers boast at least five future Hall-of-Famers in Howard, James, Westbrook, Anthony Davis and Carmelo Anthony and that group has a wealth of knowledge and experience that should be able to get them back to the NBA Finals. However, it would be a mistake to not recognize the other veterans on the roster like Trevor Ariza, who also figures to play a part in L.A.’s quest to recapture a championship.
Howard has been vocal since re-signing with Los Angeles about everyone needing to do their part to help this team win games and he noted that each player sacrificing will be the key to building the chemistry that was lacking from last season’s team. However, given how everyone has talked about doing their part that should not be an issue this time around.
Howard praises Anthony’s work ethic
Like Howard, Anthony will have a role on this year’s squad and he has done a great job of staying in shape and accepting his role as a shooter off the bench. To that end, Howard made sure to go out of his way and praise Anthony for his work ethic.
“Well, Melo has just always been a professional,” Howard said. “He’s always worked hard, he’s always giving 110% on the court. That’s all you can ask. There’s another side of basketball that people don’t really see and that’s the business side and some things are left out of our control and the one thing that he’s always been in control with is just how hard he works and what he does while he’s training. And that’s why he’s been able to play for 19 years and just shows that his work ethic and his discipline, sacrifice has always been there. And now to top it all off this year hopefully at the end with a trophy, so I think the hard work that Melo has put in from Day 1 has allowed him to play this many years in the league.
“But also, he’s been an inspiration to millions of kids around the world about just working hard and not allowing people or anybody to pull you down. He’s had some tough years with people making statements about his career, his game, his ego and stuff like that, but instead of letting that change who he is as a person, he just kept pushing forward and now he’s where he’s at.”
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