With a veteran-laden roster, the Los Angeles Lakers are all-in on winning the 2022 NBA Championship.
The Lakers went out and in NBA free agency and signed players who have deep postseason experience as role players, which should help when the games get tight down the stretch. Dwight Howard returned to Los Angeles after a year with the Philadelphia 76ers and figures to reprise his role as the rim-protecting big off the bench.
Joining Howard is Carmelo Anthony, who finally believed it was the right time to team up with long-time friend LeBron James. Anthony has managed to stick in the league because he has accepted his role as a bench player at this point in his career, and Howard made sure to praise Anthony’s professionalism and 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.”
Howard and Anthony are projected to be key pieces in head coach Frank Vogel’s rotation during the 2021-22 season, and both veterans will be able to prove they have something left in the tank when the Lakers are back in Staples Center.
Dwight Howard believes sacrifice is necessary to build chemistry
It was evident last season that certain players were concerned about themselves, but that is not the case with the current roster who seems solely focused on winning a championship. Chemistry is an underrated component of a championship team, and Howard believes players have to be willing to sacrifice to build that camaraderie.