Dwight Howard admits to feeling ‘left out’ alongside Lakers teammates LeBron James, Russell Westbrook
Right now, Dwight Howard is already on his third stint with the Los Angeles Lakers. At this point in his career, it’s safe to say that the Purple and Gold holds a special place in Howard’s heart.
Be that as it may, Howard recently admitted that he still feels “left out” alongside the Lakers’ superstars. According to Howard, he believes that he and teammate Rajon Rondo are underappreciated alongside the likes of LeBron James and Russell Westbrook.
“I look at when ESPN highlights the Lakers: Obviously, they’re gonna show LeBron and Anthony Davis, or Carmelo Anthony and Russell Westbrook. And me and Rajon Rondo are left out, like we haven’t done great things in our career. Like we haven’t been amazing. We’re always left out of certain things,” Howard said, via Tyler R. Tynes of GQ. “I try not to look too deep into it, but that shit be the case. We’ve done exceptional things in this league and still are. So, while we’re playing we should get some praise for the hard work that we put in. I don’t want nobody to kiss my butt or nothin’ like that. But appreciation should go a long way, especially when people are alive.”
There’s no denying that Howard has had a decorated career in the NBA (the same can be said about Rondo). Before joining the Lakers in 2019, the one thing missing from his trophy case was an NBA championship. Howard achieved just that in his second stint in Hollywood as he helped the Lakers to a historic title in the bubble. Nevertheless, the 35-year-old veteran is adamant that it’s not all about championships.
“We put so much emphasis on a ring. [People say] ‘he don’t have a ring, so you can’t be considered that great,’” Howard added. “But the championship is won when you make it to the NBA. It’s the hardest shit in the world to make it.”
Speaking of accolades, Howard was controversially left out of the NBA’s Top 75 all-time list. Many believe that the eight-time All-Star deserved to be on there. Even Howard himself admitted to being disappointed after learning about the snub:
“I think that what I have done in my career, there’s no way it cannot be recognized,” he said. “It was upsetting, at first. But, I didn’t take it too seriously. I felt before that I wasn’t gonna be on it because it felt like [the NBA] was trying to phase me out. People think I’m trying to blame the NBA for certain things, but I look at how certain things have happened in my career and I know some of these things are not on me. I’ve watched how I rarely get talked about when they mention [the Lakers]. It’s like I’m an afterthought. Like damn.”
For what it’s worth, four of Howard’s Lakers teammates were on the list. LeBron, Anthony Davis, Westbrook, and Carmelo Anthony were all named as part of the 75 greatest players in the history of the NBA. Many will argue that all four absolutely deserve their place on the list, but there will also be more than a few folks who might claim that Howard also earned a spot on the list. For his part, Howard is obviously happy for his teammates, but he can’t help but call out the blatant disrespect.
“I’ve been in the league a long time,” said Howard. “I’ve made an impact on every team I’ve been on, on and off the court, and it never gets recognized. So, I thought it was kind of crazy, but I figured I’d get the short end of the stick. I told my friends and the people I’m close to that I’m gonna start working harder and find other ways to generate positive messages to people. Making a list like that is only to get everybody riled up. To try to compare people’s careers, that doesn’t matter. To compare somebody to somebody else? No. We’re all unique individuals. This is a waste of energy.”
Howard has clearly matured into an individual that no longer puts too much weight on trivial matters. He did admit to being affected by the snub, but at this point, it sounds like he’s already moved on. Dwight Howard from 10 years ago would have definitely made a huge issue about all this.
It’s no secret that Howard is now in the twilight of his career. He has a couple more good years left in him before he finally hangs it up. It’s been quite a ride for the 2004 first overall pick. As it appears, he’s cherished every second of it.