The dust has long settled on Dwight Howard's controversial move from Los Angeles to Houston. In Houston's Media Day, Howard reasoned that his explosive signing actually wasn't all that explosive. At least, it wasn't supposed to be. Howard said he didn't have to double think making the decision to leave Los Angeles and also revealed why he left Los Angeles in the first place.
Howard basically asserted that the drama around him leaving Los Angeles was imagined by the media. He sat down, made the decision, and informed the other teams and Lakers General Manger Mitch Kupchak about it before announcing it on Twitter.
There was no (thought of), 'Oh man, hold up, let me think about this again.' The night before, when I had decided, I sat down with everybody – my agent, my best friend who was there, and my bodyguard, and we talked. I said this is where I want to go. I told my Dad that this is where I want to go. I said tomorrow, when I get home, we're going to talk to the Lakers. I'm going to tell the other teams on the phone, and that's what I did.
[The Lakers] were the team that decided to take me from Orlando, so I wanted to give them that respect – especially Mitch, because that was somebody who I had conversations with all summer. I wanted to let him know personally, and to thank him for the opportunity to play for the Lakers.
And Howard left the Lakers because he wanted to win. He had Bryant, but with the Mamba retiring within the next few years, Howard would be the man to lead a team of young players with suspect levels of talent. The idea of teaming up with a young and game James Harden was too good to pass up.
James Harden doesn't come by every 10 years. It doesn't happen. It's no knock on other players who I played with, but you're talking about all these guys who are young and are going this way, going up, so I'm like, 'Man, this is a great spot for me. A great town, great organization.' They're going this way (points up)
Howard left behind one of the most storied franchises in NBA history and a chance to join in the legacy. He made it clear he didn't care about that: "Other teams have more history, but yesterday's scores don't win today's games. You've got to look at the now. What's in the now? What can we do now? Nobody cared about what I did eight years ago, they want to know what I can do now, and it's the perfect team for me."
A very few amount of people know that more than Howard. He was the man in the late aughts, but his achievements got overshadowed by a series of poor public relations moves. But right now, he has a chance to silence some critics by simply grinding his teeth and playing good basketball.
[via USA Today]