Dwight Howard knows things ended poorly after his first stint with the Los Angeles Lakers. Now that he’s back, Howard wants fans to know that despite all that, he never thought poorly of them.
While Howard’s time in Los Angeles may have been rough, Howard says he has no "ill will" toward the Lakers or their fans, according to Dave McMenamin of ESPN.
"I never had any ill will toward any of the fans here in L.A.," Howard said. "I loved this city from the first moment I've been here and started playing in the NBA. It was never nothing against anybody here [on] the team or anything like that, it was just a decision I made. I love this city. I love playing in L.A. I'm back here, so none of that stuff in the past even really matters to me anymore. I think we all have a fresh start."
Lakers fans don’t feel the same way. Howard, 33, has taken a lot of heat from a number of fan bases in recent years. Howard spent three years with the Houston Rockets after turning down an extra $30 million from the Lakers following the 2012-13 season. Since then, he’s bounced around the league, playing for three teams the past three years.
That trend could continue again this season. Howard signed a one-year, non-guaranteed deal with the team. He’ll have to prove himself if he wants to stick around long term.
While Howard hasn’t played any games yet, he’s saying all of the right things. Howard has said he hit “rock bottom” last year, and that he’ll show up to the Lakers with a different attitude.
If he can follow through, maybe Howard will be able to win the fans over during his second stint with the team.
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