Dwight Howard may mostly want to let his actions do the talking during his second time donning the purple and gold, but the new Lakers center was still willing to offer up an idea of the role he and the team envision for him in Los Angeles.
“Just dominate,” Howard said on his introductory conference call with local media. “Dominate every single night. Dominate my position, dominate on defense and be the best player I can be for this team.”
Howard later offered a bit more clarity while speaking with Chris McGee of Spectrum Sportsnet on what that will mean exactly in terms of his X’s-and-O’s role on the court:
“They just want me to be the best person I can be for this team. Defense. Dominating the boards, dominating my position, helping everybody out, talking. On offense, picking and rolling. Something that I think has been a misperception with a lot of people is that I hate picking and rolling and stuff like that, but whatever this team needs me to do, I’m willing to do it.”
Those are the exact types of things that the Lakers and their fans should want to hear Howard is focusing on, as those are the areas he can make an impact on a winning team in the NBA.
Still, given how many “fresh starts” Howard has had before, several of which featured him promising to have changed in many of the same ways he is above, was him really focusing on those things this time a hard sell to the team? Howard says it wasn’t.
“It was no problem. Everybody here wants to win and I want to win, so it wasn’t about selling myself, it was just about what we’re trying to accomplish,” Howard said of his meetings with the organization prior to actually signing. “I thoroughly enjoyed talking to my teammates and talking to the coaching staff, and Rob. I think it was something that was very much needed and brought a lot of clarity to the situation.”
Howard (and the Lakers) will have to be hoping the “clarity” Howard mentions will stick this time, because if it doesn’t, L.A. will be without a center, and Howard will (probably) be out of chances in the NBA. We’ll see if it does.