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#pounditSaturday, August 8, 2020

Dwight Howard admits he ‘hated’ the Lakers when he first left

Dwight Howard

Dwight Howard returning to the Los Angeles Lakers this past summer was a reunion that none of us saw coming, including Howard himself apparently.

In an Instagram Live chat Wednesday with Lakers teammate Jared Dudley, the ex-All-Star center spoke on his disdain for the team when he first left.

“I was really upset about how things ended the last time I was in L.A.” Howard said, per Mirjam Swanson of the Long Beach Press-Telegram. “I felt like I got so much criticism for leaving and so I was like, ‘Man, I would never go back.’ You know? I hated that place. I was just so upset.

“And last summer I was really working on being able to forgive and allowing my ego to leave and just work on forgiving people and situations that I felt like I was wronged in but not looking at the picture like, ‘What did I do in that situation?’” he added. “I was like, ‘I gotta forgive.’ ”

Howard’s brief time with the Lakers in the 2012-13 season was plagued by conflict with Kobe Bryant and coach Mike D’Antoni that culminated with a first-round sweep at the hands of the San Antonio Spurs. He then left to join the Houston Rockets in free agency that summer, his first of four stops in the next five years. Howard then reunited with the Lakers last offseason following the season-ending ACL injury to DeMarcus Cousins and delivered quite the redemption arc this season with excellent numbers in a limited role for them.

The 34-year-old also made up with Bryant before Bryant’s death in January, and it is obvious he came a long way between his two stints with the Lakers.

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