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Lakers introduce Dwight Howard, who’s awfully relieved this situation he created is over

Aug 10, 2012, 9:24 PM EDT

Los Angeles Lakers Introduce Dwight Howard Getty Images

Dwight Howard appeared at the podium, that big, goofy smile of his plastered on his face. He was beaming from ear-to-ear with a look that said excitement, anticipation, and most of all, relief. Yes, Howard was clearly grateful that this entire ordeal is behind him. After months and months, he can finally put this chapter in the rear view, and get away from all the problems that have plagued his life since last December.

You know, all of those problems he created.

Howard told reporters at his introductory press conference as a Los Angeles Laker that he was just glad everything was over and that he could “breathe” again. Which is convenient, since he literally choked the life out of the Orlando Magic franchise. Howard refused to talk about the team that he started his NBA career with in 2004, saying that it was “Laker Day” and refusing to comment on the situation in Orlando, beyond thanking the fans and the city there (as it burns in embers behind him) and this one quote:

“It was a very tough situation for everyone to let go.”

You can say that again.

Howard spoke to the situation with the media, and how his public image had taken such a hit in recent days/months/eons due to his constant trade demands and a never-ending series of leaks from his camp spelling out his feelings for the franchise, even after willingly opting-in to another year with the team. Howard said he “forgave” the media, including Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless, which is just incredibly benevolent of him.

Howard spoke of the past four months he’s spent rehabbing from back surgery in L.A., and mentioned that he has not started running yet, nor will he “rush” his return, an ominous line that has to send shivers down the back of Lakers fans. But most estimates say that Howard should be fully healthy by the time training camp starts.

Howard also mentioned that that time in L.A. is in part what made him feel that this was “home.” So just to be clear here, he felt more at home in a hotel he’d been staying at in Beverly Hills for four months than the community he’d lived in since 2004. Got it.

Howard provided his prototypical comic relief when he did a pretty spot-on Kobe impression of the phone call shared between the two Friday night, which Bryant confirmed earlier in the day prior to Team USA’s win over Argentina. He joked and laughed and seemed at ease. And why shouldn’t he? He got everything he wanted, and now gets to be the hero to millions.

The All-Star center repeatedly made mention to his Superman moniker, and briefly touched on the “mistakes” he’d made throughout this process. “I’m going to do better,” the big man said before leaving the podium with his new Lakers No.12 jersey. Just in time for Orlando fans.

  1. kiopta1 - Aug 11, 2012 at 8:48 AM

    Will he be as or more hated by fans of previous team than Lebron? Also watch it no work for the lakers…unless they are trying to pull a Heat. I don’t have a dog in this race as a pistons fan but I am think lakers have talent but what about Ego overload.

  2. kiopta1 - Aug 11, 2012 at 8:49 AM

    Maybe Tebow can play LB and every time he tackles or makes a sack he can be called a victim of the Tebow Inquisition. Lol JFK.

  3. 1historian - Aug 11, 2012 at 8:54 AM

    Nash is closing in on 40.

    Kobe is not far behind him, and when the playoffs start up next spring both he and Gasol – early 30s? – will have been playing almost without a break for about 18 months straight.

    Howard is a hot dog who has impressive physical talents but no experience with the constant pressure of playing in L.A. and/or with Kobe getting on his case – every game.

    Metta World Peace is a piece of work.

    Bench?

    • bozosforall - Aug 12, 2012 at 10:16 PM

      1hysterectomy is a jealous loser Puh C fan. Nuff said.

  4. chadinkc30 - Aug 11, 2012 at 9:24 AM

    Kobe is 33, last time I checked thats 7 years from 40. Nash is old, but is still a top 10 point guard. Who’d you rather have, Raymond Felton? Derek Fisher? You people need to shut up, you sound like jealous lil children

  5. isujames - Aug 11, 2012 at 9:43 AM

    Enjoy him for one year suckers.

    • 00maltliquor - Aug 11, 2012 at 1:28 PM

      If that “one” year means getting a championship then F it, it was worth it!

  6. tubal22 - Aug 11, 2012 at 9:53 AM

    If anyone ever deserved a career ending injury, it’s Dwight.

    He’s taken the system that’s paid him millions and millions of dollars already, and spit it back in everyone’s face. He doesn’t deserve it. Let him go get a real job and then we’ll see what kind of man he is.

    Dwight makes me sick. And I’m not even a Magic fan.

    • 20dollardinners - Aug 11, 2012 at 7:29 PM

      That’s a horrible thing to say.

      Imagine if for your profession you were drafted to businesses and ended up with one that didn’t mesh with your goals, culture, and lifestyle. As an example if you were a retail exec and got drafted by Wal Mart. I wouldn’t want to live in Arkansas and support a company culture of exploiting workers and suppliers. I’d want a trade.

      Also – the flip flopping is because he wanted to the honorable / right thing. He could have just pulled a Carmello – which by chance ended up being a good trade for Denver (because NY was unnecessarily aggressive).

    • thesixersbench - Aug 12, 2012 at 1:13 AM

      These are the opinions that leave me speechless. Dwight Howard is 26 years old. Do you think that if you had to make a major, life altering decision in the public eye when you were/turn 26 that there would be the possibility of not handling it in the best fashion?

      I’m not a Dwight apologist – but let’s stop pretending he sacrificed puppy dogs to the basketball gods or something. He’s a 26 year-old man who had a disagreement with his employer (after said employer BLEW it for years when it came to putting a winning team around him [i.e. trading for Gilbert, Rashard Lewis contract, letting Hedo go, then trading for the bloated contract someone else gave him, trading for Big Baby, etc. - Otis Smith is awful] ).

      I understand not rooting for him, but to hope for his livelihood to be taken away? That makes you a sad, shell of a man.

  7. isujames - Aug 11, 2012 at 9:53 AM

    I can’t wait to see how dwight deals with not getting the ball and his points that hes accustomed to.Enjoy this one year with him Laker Fanatics D Howard already stated it was not his decision to play in LA, he will be united somehow with his buddy D Williams next year or else……………….

  8. omniusprime - Aug 11, 2012 at 10:13 AM

    We Laker fans will be watching and hoping that Howard will perform like the best center in the NBA. One thing in coming to the Lakers is Howard now has a real team around him, so unlike the garbage that the Orlando Tragic put around him expecting Howard to win regardless of the lack of talent he had to play with. The Tragic screwed up yet again with a great center by never surrounding him with a great team, they expected Shaq and Howard to win titles without a real team around them.

    So Tragic fans stop whining about Howard and start whining at the Tragic’s utterly ignorant upper mismanagement who never did their job of creating a championship team around a great center. Now Howard is on a team that understands how to create championship teams, eat your hearts out Tragic fans! Tee Hee.

  9. whowhatwherefootball - Aug 11, 2012 at 10:44 AM

    Trades like this ruin proffesional sports… Lakers still dont win a ring too much drama will come from press… Kobe old as hell… And whos coming off the bench anyways?

  10. deshackle - Aug 11, 2012 at 11:45 AM

    Dwight Howard moving to the Lakers further illustrates the legitimacy issues in the NBA. This ranks right up there with Tim Donaghy and the draft lottery. Why would any franchise help The Lakers, for nothing in return? Looks like another orchestrated decision. I’d let him sit out the season before trading him to the Lakers for nothing.

    I get that same feeling when I’m watching a NBA game. It also looks orchestrated as if league officials determine the outcome.

    The one thing that makes the NFL far superior is each team has a chance win. In the preseason every team in the league has legitimate Super bowl aspiration. And it’s quite possible to go from worst to first in one season. Football is a man’s game; it doesn’t produce whining cry babies like Dwight Howard. No one player is bigger than the league.

  11. chadinkc30 - Aug 11, 2012 at 12:25 PM

    The Lakers had the best asset (Andrew Bynum), so how is it unfair or bogus? Good franchises are good because they are good decisions. Pretty simple really. They held onto him for so long for a reason

  12. yahmule - Aug 11, 2012 at 1:08 PM

    Man, talk about a league that bends over backwards to cater to the whims of their stars. I watched almost every Laker game from about 1973 to 2004 when I could no longer stomach Shaq and Kobe’s dueling tantrums. The NBA is a joke.

    • 24thesho - Aug 11, 2012 at 5:58 PM

      “Orlando Magic”, I meant. My bad.

    • 20dollardinners - Aug 11, 2012 at 7:30 PM

      Clashes of male egos = unique to professional basketball…

      rigggghhhhhttttt………….

  13. msgtretusaf - Aug 11, 2012 at 2:07 PM

    The Magic is where stars go to die. Howard endured 8 years there without them building a team around him and nothing was ever going to change. Same thing happened to Shaq. At least the Lakers have the championship pedigree…not just a perennial losing individual all-star show that keeps season ticket holders happy and the franchise profitable. Howard has the money and now he wants a ring or two. More power to him.

  14. fanz928 - Aug 11, 2012 at 5:08 PM

    The reason people was so upset is because Dwight is so good like lebron

  15. 24thesho - Aug 11, 2012 at 6:00 PM

    Here are a few differences between Shaq and Howard:

    Shaq:

    1. Shaq did put the Orlando Magic on the map…, for real.
    2. Shaq possessed very impressive passing skills and fundamental low post moves and was very athletic, especially for his size.
    3. Shaq helped take the Magic to the 1995 NBA Finals.
    4. Shaq was born on the east coast.
    5. Shaq won championships with L.A. and Miami, totaling 4(?) rings.
    6. Shaq actually has a personality, is still genuinely a likable person and has acted in a few films.
    7. Shaq had (or still has) some respect for the game and its history.
    8. Shaq will go down as one of the great centers in NBA history and will or should be a first ballot “Hall Of Famer”.
    9. Shaq was a very poor FT shooter but did make some FTs in a few crucial situations.
    10. Shaq ranks (or once ranked) 6th all-time in points scored, 5th in field goals, 13th in rebounds, and 7th in blocks

    Howard:

    1. Was perceived to be a likable person and all around good guy, in the beginning.
    2. Is very athletic and can jump really high.
    3. Has very big muscles.
    4. Had no respect for his coach Stan Van Gundy and probably will have not have respect for any other coaches.
    5. Howard thinks he’s actually better than Shaq was (or than Patrick Ewing was was; I’m guessing).
    6. Won slam dunk contest with fake dunk while wearing fake Superman cape.
    7 Howard could never have really carried the Magic, anyway.
    8. Howard got dunked on by Spain’s Rudy Fernandez (I think it was Rudy) in the 2008 Olympics; (Wut waz up wit dat?).
    9 Howard is one of those “claims to be a good Christian”, hypocrites.
    10. Howard will never be a first ballot “Hall of Famer”, or perhaps a HOFer, if at all;….; T.B.A.
    11. Howard is a very poor FT shooter……; the only similarity he and Shaq do share, at least to me.

    • bougin89 - Aug 13, 2012 at 9:45 AM

      I think your overall point of Shaq being a much better basketball player than Howard would be agreed with by just about anyone that has watched Shaq play but off the court these two shared a lot of similarities as well. Both are prima donnas and both have had issues with coaches. It’s hilarious you point out that Howard had no respect for Stan Van Gundy but fail to mention that Shaq was the main reason Stan Van Gundy was fired midway through the season that the Heat won a championship.

      Shaq has thrown multiple teammates under the bus, most notably Penny Hardaway and Kobe Bryant.

      I think Shaq was the most dominate player in the NBA post MJ but your heavily biased arguments above are pretty ridiculous.

  16. paulhargis53 - Aug 11, 2012 at 6:17 PM

    Kobe may only be 33. but he’s got 15 years in the league and quite a few playoff series under his belt.

    He has a lot of miles on him.

    By comparison after 15 years, Jordan would be 36. The drop off for Kobe is just around the corner.

    • bozosforall - Aug 12, 2012 at 10:20 PM

      Meanwhile, the drop off for loser boy pamwhorgis was the day he was born.

      • jimeejohnson - Aug 13, 2012 at 9:45 PM

        You two losers should get a room. You are made for each other: ignorant hater stupid asses!

      • bozosforall - Aug 13, 2012 at 11:01 PM

        I’ll leave the room-getting for gay boys like you, jimee.

  17. boscoesworld - Aug 11, 2012 at 7:12 PM

    Howard is a major Dou%$e Bag. Good luck with that attitude. Why do these morons even sign contracts any more? They just whine their way out when they wish. The NBA truly is the laughing stock of the professional sports world and the clown Stern is holding all the strings. There should just be a four team league that only plays each other. That is all that’s televised as it is.

  18. manchestermiracle - Aug 11, 2012 at 8:04 PM

    That’s right Matt, Howard created this entire fiasco all by himself. It was HIS fault the Magic couldn’t get anyone to help him out on the court, it was HIS fault the front office didn’t take him seriously when he said he wanted out, it was HIS fault management hemmed and hawed and kept trying to get the moon in return for trading him. Right. All Howard’s fault. How do you keep breathing in that vacuum you live in?

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