It came as a bit of a surprise when the Los Angeles Lakers decided to part ways with Dwight Howard prior to the start of the 2020-21 season. This was right after LA’s historic title run in the Orlando bubble, in which Howard played a significant role en route to winning the championship.

Now that he’s returned to the Lakers after a one-year hiatus, Howard has opened up about how he really felt about leaving LA one year ago:

“It was very upsetting at first, not being able to return next season,” Howard admitted, via Harrison Faigen of Silver Screen & Roll “… But I stayed happy, and now I’m back here with the Lake Show.”

Howard signed with the Philadelphia 76ers where he played the role of Joel Embiid’s primary backup. Things didn’t exactly pan out in Philly, and he’s now found his way home to Los Angeles. According to Howard, it was his “love for this city” that served as his primary motivation to return for a second time. The opportunity to win another title also played a significant role in his decision.

This will be Howard’s third stint with the Lakers. At this point, the eight-time All-Star firmly believes that he and the Lakers are just meant for each other:

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“I just think that like, we’re supposed to be together,” Howard said. “Something about the Lakers and myself, we’re supposed to be together.”

The Lakers faithful have grown to love Howard and what he brings to the table. Hopefully, he delivers again this time around.