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Dwight Howard says L.A is ‘back and will compete for a championship next season’

Dwight Howard, Lakers

Dwight Howard’s ballyhooed trade to the Los Angeles Lakers, needless to say, didn’t exactly go as planned. The Lakers were supposed to be basketball’s next best super team, adding Howard and Steve Nash to a two-time championship core of Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, and Metta World Peace.

It didn’t work out that way. Beset by infighting, injuries, and aging, Los Angeles went 45-37 in 2012-13, scrapping its way to the eight seed in the Western Conference before being swept by the San Antonio Spurs. Howard left in free agency two months later, despite the Lakers’ tireless efforts to retain him.

Six years removed from then, Los Angeles has championship expectations for the first time since, a long-awaited development Howard is glad to see come to fruition.

“It just wasn’t the right fit for me at the time,” he said, per Arash Markazi of the Los Angeles Times. “But the Lakers have been doing something right for a long time because they have the most fans in the world and the most championships over the past 40 years. You’re not going to win a championship every year, but they’re back and will compete for a championship next season. There’s some really good teams out there and everybody wants to see how everything is going to shake out. but it’s great to see teams that were struggling are back competing for a title again.”

The Lakers, with LeBron James and Anthony Davis, are one of several top-tier championship contenders leading up to 2019-20.

Howard, meanwhile, was traded from the Washington Wizards to the Memphis Grizzlies last week. He’s expected to soon be waived, likely landing with a veteran team that could use extra help up front.