When Dwight Howard signed with the Los Angeles Lakers last month for another stint with the team, there were concerns about the past rumors surrounding his locker-room attitude. Having played for five teams since the Lakers acquired him from the Orlando Magic in the summer of 2012, these allegations have often overshadowed the 33-year-old big man’s on-court performance. And in a recent interview, Howard revealed what he thinks about all the rumors of him being a bad teammate.
In a recent appearance on In Depth with Graham Bensinger, Howard admitted being disappointed over the claims that he isn’t good for team chemistry. As quoted by Bleacher Report, the eight-time NBA All-Star told the show’s titular host that he “really hated” it when other people would accuse him of being a “cancer in the locker room” or not being “good to have around teammates.” He said that these comments “really affected” him for some time, adding that there was one reason why he felt so upset about being called a bad teammate.
“Because it’s not me.”
Per Bleacher Report, Howard brought up the fact that the Atlanta Hawks voted him as Teammate of the Year during his lone season with the team in 2016-17. He stressed that such an honor does not align with the numerous reports hinting that he tends to have contentious relationships with his teammates.
Despite Howard’s denial of the various “bad teammate” rumors he has encountered through the years, Bleacher Report pointed out that there have been multiple accounts suggesting that the former three-time Defensive Player of the Year didn’t always get along with his teammates. These included allegations that Howard and then-teammate James Harden had a “cordially bad” relationship during the former’s three-year stint with the Houston Rockets.
Likewise, the outlet cited ESPN’s Zach Lowe, who previously claimed that some of Howard’s Hawks teammates “[screamed] with jubilation into their phones” when the news of his trade to the Charlotte Hornets broke in the summer of 2017.
Additionally, Bleacher Report cited former NBA center Brendan Haywood, who alleged last year that Howard “did not get along” with the Hornets during his one-season stint in Charlotte.
While the rumors of Dwight Howard’s inability to get along with then-Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant during his first stint in Los Angeles have similarly swirled for years, The Inquisitr reported earlier this month that one of Howard’s former teammates last season with the Washington Wizards saw things a bit differently. In a quick interview with TMZ Sports, Kelly Oubre Jr., who now plays for the Phoenix Suns, described Howard as a good and “very down to earth” teammate who understandably turned “a little distant” when his season ended prematurely due to injuries.