Lakers center Dwight Howard reveals his key to his career resurgence
LOS ANGELES – On Monday night, Dwight Howard proved his worth once again for the Los Angeles Lakers. With Anthony Davis still on the mend, the 34-year-old recorded his fourth double-double of the season, dropping 21 points and grabbing 15 rebounds in a win against the visiting Cleveland Cavaliers. The big man even hit his third 3-pointer of the season.
As Howard’s comeback continues, the Lakers center becomes more of a fan favorite as well as a vital piece to the championship puzzle for Los Angeles. He spoke about continuing to turn his career around in his second stint with this storied franchise.
“It’s just about manifestation,” Howard said of his career resurgence in L.A. “I just felt like coming into this season, this was going to be our year. It was going to be our year and everybody had that same attitude. We’re going to work hard and prepare ourselves for a championship and every day we feel like that’s the championship. Every practice, every time we’re in the weight room, it’s always about a championship. That’s the mentality we want to have. We want to set a standard here in L.A. Every day is about winning a championship.”
After landing Anthony Davis in a trade to join LeBron James, the Lakers were instantly considered a force to be reckoned with in the Western Conference and a potential title contender. The team added pieces around these two superstars like Danny Green, Avery Bradley, and Jared Dudley, but the signing of DeMarcus Cousins late in the free-agency process seemed like another home-run move for Rob Pelinka.
Unfortunately, not long after agreeing to a deal with the Lakers, Cousins suffered a torn ACL while playing a game in Las Vegas. It was devastating for both the team and Cousins. Los Angeles had to find a viable replacement on short notice. The options were limited, with it seemingly coming down to seasoned veterans Joakim Noah and Howard.
Although Noah made a lot of sense for this team, especially with Howard’s checkered history with the Lakers, the team went in the unexpected direction to bring back the three-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year who spurned them back in 2013. The move was a low-risk, high-reward situation with the veteran center inking a non-guaranteed deal. The consensus seemed to be that it wouldn’t pan out and he’d be waived at some point, but things have turned out much differently as Dwight Howard has resurrected his career where it was once derailed.
“I’m just thankful and grateful,” Howard said of his current mindset. “Every time I step out on the court, I just want to give this team 135 percent. I want to get every rebound. I want to block every shot. I want to make sure I get all my guys open and just bring the energy every single night. I just want to keep that up and take advantage of every moment that I have to play this game.”