If you would have told me in 2009 that, one day, LeBron James and Dwight Howard would be teammates on the Los Angeles Lakers, I would have looked at you like you were crazy. If you would have told Howard the same thing this time last year, he would have given you a similar look.
Beyond the fact that Howard’s relationship with the Lakers was seemingly fractured up until last summer, Howard just didn’t think he’d ever play with James, as he told Jared Dudley during an Instagram Live Q&A earlier this week:
“Man, it’s been wild, man. I remember telling my sister, man, me and LeBron been playing against each other since we was 15, 16 years old. And I was like, man, we’ll never play with each other, you know? We always, like, playing against each other. Then, all of a sudden, we end up teammates. I couldn’t believe it. And I’m like wow, this is crazy, I’m playing with LeBron James. It’s still shocking.
“I sit across and just watch him sometimes on the court during practice just like, ‘This is crazy.’ And then we both got like the same, similar type of personalities where we carry music around, we want to listen to music all day, and rap, and sing, and makes jokes. We (are) like brothers from another mother. It’s crazy. It’s crazy.”
As someone that got to watch both James and Howard at the peak of their careers, it is a little surreal to see them on the court together, even with knowledge that Howard isn’t an elite center anymore. Between the both of them, they have 24 All-Star appearances, four league MVPs and three Defensive Player of the Year awards.
Whether or not they win a championship with the Lakers this year, they’ll both be in the Basketball Hall of Fame. That may seem like a given for James, but I think it’s important to note that Howard is a future Hall of Famer, too.
Will Howard carry the Lakers in a playoff game on the road? Maybe not, but he can help LeBron and the Lakers win meaningful games, and that in and of itself is a very cool sentence.