Lakers News: Dwight Howard Wishes 2019-20 Championship Team Could Have Stayed Together
Dwight Howard, Lakers
Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Former Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard was public enemy No. 1 when he left in free agency to join the Houston Rockets back in July 2013. However, he would come back six years later to win a championship with the Lakers in the 2019-20 season, redeeming himself in the process.

Howard and JaVale McGee were excellent defensive pairings alongside Anthony Davis with the former being instrumental in the Western Conference Finals in 2020 defending Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokić. Then, that following offseason, he was planned to sign back with the team before it fell through and he went on to sign a one-year deal with the Philadelphia 76ers.

But, Howard would again come back to the Lakers in the 2021-22 season for his third-stint, although proved to not be as effective as he was in the championship season. Howard is now playing overseas in Taiwan and remains to be seen if he’ll be given another contract in the NBA. However, Howard compared the Lakers to an ex-girlfriend you can’t get away from and wishes they would have kept that 2019-20 team together, via Zion Olojede of Complex:

“It’s been crazy. It’s been crazy, but it’s just for some reason we just clicked. I don’t know, you could have a little girlfriend or whatever and it’s just, y’all done been together, y’all done broke up. You done tried other girlfriends but it’s just some type of connection y’all got.

“That’s how we feel about the Lakers. Man, it’s just something that we got this connection. I don’t know. It got to work. It got to work. But I do love the Lakers, man. We had the championship run there and I wish we would’ve had a chance to keep going because that was the squad right there. We had everything. We had everything.”

With the Lakers currently in the market for one more big man to back up Davis, there have been fans on board to bring Howard back for his fourth stint, although that seems unlikely. Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka spoke to the media at Summer League about how he wants to replicate the success the team had during the 2019-20 season, which makes sense due to Davis’ health concerns.

Allowing Davis to slide over to the power forward alleviates some of those concerns and lets another durable big guard the prominent centers of the league, like what Howard and McGee did. Wanting to replicate that is smart, but bringing back Howard and/or McGee seems unlikely at the moment.

Howard came back to the Lakers to right the mistake he made back in 2013 and he did that by bringing a championship, but seems like he wanted to build upon that 2019-20 team and its success.

Darvin Ham believes Lakers can win a championship in 2023-24

The Lakers were able to turn their season around at the trade deadline and be four wins away from the NBA Finals. With the team’s signings and re-signings, head coach Darvin Ham believes that they’ll be able to get that elusive 18th championship.

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