Dwight Howard on playing with Kobe Bryant and James Harden
After eight seasons with the Orlando Magic, Dwight Howard requested a trade to the Brooklyn Nets. Ultimately, he was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers prior to the 2012-13 NBA season after undergoing surgery to repair a herniated disk in his back.
In Howard’s lone season with Kobe Bryant and the Lakers, it is well-documented things did not go according to plan. However, since being a three-time Defensive Player of the Year award winner with the Magic, Howard is set to play for his fourth team in six seasons.
“I haven’t had a system where I can be who I am since I was in Orlando,” Howard said. “The fact that I played with a Kobe [Bryant], a James [Harden], and they were ball-dominant, affected me. But I’ve been in this system before, and I know how dominant I can be. I think I’m smarter now, and that is going to allow me to use my quickness and explosiveness in a better way.”
While Howard was frustrated in Orlando which led to his trade request, the 31-year-old may have realized the grass is not always greener. With hopes of becoming a team’s top option, his offensive abilities are extremely limited as his defensive abilities are declining.
For Howard, he hopes having familiarity with head coach Steve Clifford will reignite his career. However, as the league is increasingly perimeter-oriented, it will be interesting to see if Clifford persuades Howard to focus on rebounding and defending at this stage of his career.