Around the time that the Lakers agreed to sign Dwight Howard, reports surfaced suggesting the veteran center had shown awareness of having hit “rock bottom” and had been humbled by the experience. Speaking this week to reporters on an introductory conference call, Howard clarified that his “rock-bottom” moment was more about his life off the court than on it.
“It didn’t have anything to do with basketball,” Howard said, per ESPN’s Dave McMenamin. “It was just stuff going [on] in my personal life. Mentally, physically and spiritually. It had nothing to do with me as a basketball player or anything like that. It was just personal things that I had to deal with which made me stronger.”
According to McMenamin, Howard was more reluctant than usual on the call with the reporters to say anything that might cause “eyebrows to raise,” expressing a desire to let his actions speak loud than his words.
“I’ve always said a lot of words, but I’d just rather show you guys,” Howard said.
As we wait to see what the three-time Defensive Player of the Year has left in the tank, let’s round up a few more notes out of Los Angeles…
- In an appearance on The Stephen A. Smith Show on ESPN Radio, Ramona Shelburne said that Anthony Davis had a “big say” in the decision to add Howard to the Lakers‘ roster, given Davis’ preference for having a center playing next to him. Harrison Faigen of Silver Screen & Roll passes along the details and the quotes from Shelburne.
- Josh Hart and Lonzo Ball both recently said they found out on Twitter about the trade that sent them from the Lakers to the Pelicans, and Hart was somewhat critical of the Lakers on his podcast LightHarted as well, as Dan Feldman of NBC Sports details. In a pair of tweets published today, Hart walked back his criticism, but still expressed frustration that he learned about being traded on Twitter.
- With the Clippers prepared to enter the season as one of the NBA’s top title contenders, Jovan Buha of The Athletic poses a question for each player on the roster. Among Buha’s questions: How much will Kawhi Leonard rest? Can Lou Williams adjust to a reduced role? And is Ivica Zubac the team’s center of the future?