Dwight Howard’s first stint with the Los Angeles Lakers was a huge disaster. When they traded for him in the summer of 2012, the Lakers initially thought that Howard would help Kobe Bryant in bringing home another Larry O’Brien Trophy to Los Angeles. However, they were wrong. Aside from failing to win the 2012-13 NBA championship, Howard’s lone season as Bryant’s teammate had been filled with drama and frustrations.
This is why the Lakers’ decision to bring Howard to Los Angeles has earned mixed reactions around the league. Though Howard could immediately fill the void left by DeMarcus Cousins in their frontcourt, some people think that signing him would do harm more than good to their team. However, there are also people who believe that Howard will play a major role in the Lakers’ chase for an NBA championship title in the 2019-20 NBA season, including his former teammate, Lakers legend Kobe Bryant.
In a recent appearance on The Talk, via LakeShowWorld’s Twitter account, Bryant discussed several topics, including his expectations from Howard upon his return to the Lakers. Despite their unpleasant history, Bryant strongly believes that Howard is now ready to do everything he can to help the Lakers achieve their main goal next season.
“I think he’s ready for this next time around to do whatever is necessary to help this team be successful, and I think he’ll do it,” Bryant said.
DWIGHT HOWARD! pic.twitter.com/cMfvMVvoKo
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) September 9, 2019
In the lone season that they played together, Dwight Howard and Kobe Bryant had numerous clashes. Howard was upset that he wasn’t getting the ball enough, and he felt that Bryant was shooting too much. However, during his meeting with the Lakers, Howard assured them that he’s already a different player.
According to a previous The Inquisitr article, Howard explained to some Lakers staff members and players how he hit “rock bottom” last season and told them that things that he’s willing to change in order to be successful on and off the court. Howard promised the Lakers that he would anything that is asked of him, no matter the role, and be held accountable at all times.
To put his words into action, Bryant advised Howard that he shouldn’t stop evolving as a player and continue to find ways to address his weaknesses on both ends of the floor.
“Get better,” Bryant said, as quoted by Bleacher Report. “I think a lot of times as professionals you start the season without the intention of getting better as the season progresses. You always continue to work on your weaknesses as the season progresses.”
Dwight Howard still has plenty to work on his game, but if he manages to build chemistry with the Lakers’ core players and learns how to excel in an off-ball capacity, he will definitely be a huge help for the team next season. If he fails to live up to expectations, the Lakers could easily waive his contract and find another big man on the free agency market.