Hello Lakers nation.
My name is Trevor Lane, senior writer for lakers nation dot com.
And this is the Lakers Nation news feed Today.
We're talking about Dwight Howard.
Can he be trusted? Is this a guy that Lakers fans can get behind once again? Are we just going to be burned one more time? Gonna talk all about it? The first quick shout out to our sponsors up time, energy drinks? How energy should feel.
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All right, So Dwight Howard, at his introductory conference with the media today, talked a lot about coming back to the Los Angeles Lakers.
Set a lot of things the Lakers fans should like, even went out of his way to record a personal message to Lakers fans posted that on on the Lakers Twitter account.
This is a guy who really seems to want to smooth things over with a fan base.
That wasn't too thrilled with him.
Not that long ago, after all, was in 2013.
The Dwight Howard jump ship the Lakers had just traded for him this season before the 2012 2013 season was disastrous was a mess.
Steve Nash, Dwight Howard, Pau Gasol, Kobe Bryant.
Oh, we thought it was gonna be amazing.
Didn't work out.
And then Dwight leaves takes off that next summer in free agency.
Leaves the Lakers with nothing.
We're not fans of Dwight Howard after that.
He was persona non grata in Los Angeles for quite some time.
And now here we are.
Six years later, Dwight is back in purple and gold because of the injury to DeMarcus Cousins.
But can Lakers fans really get behind this guy at this point? Is it all water under the bridge? Well, here's what Dwight himself had to say in this in this this press conference.
I never had any ill will towards any of the fans here in L. A.
I love this city from the first moment I've been here and started playing in the end gay.
It was never nothing, eh? Anything like that.
It was just a decision I made.
I love this city.
I love playing in L. A.
So none of that stuff in the past even really matters to me anymore.
I think we all have a fresh start.
Now I'm gonna say this.
I think the Lakers fans actually can trust White, that he's back, that he's gonna do everything in his power to win.
And I'm gonna give you the reason why.
But first, I want to explain why you may want to be skeptical of that seat.
Quite has said things like this before.
Okay, Dwight is actually for all the flight that he gets.
He's very good at saying the right thing at the right time.
Right? We hear about Dwight being this knucklehead in the locker room and he couldn't get along with Kobe Bryant and they had all these issues.
He jokes around too much. He's not serious.
He's not all about winning.
We've heard it all, and there is always a ring of truth to it.
There's a there's a certain midpoint where you have to say, OK, that's that's probably got some validity to it.
Is it all true? No, probably not.
He's probably not as bad as he's made out to be, but, yeah, there's something there.
So, Dwight, though it has done pretty well at each stop, and no, he's bounced around for a lot of different teams of saying the right thing.
He's talked about a fresh start, his huge that phrase a ton recently because he bounced from the Houston Rockets to the Atlanta Hawks to the Washington Wizards.
And then, I mean, he gets bought out by by the Memphis Grizzlies has been all over the place.
I didn't even throw in the Charlotte Hornets.
He was there to actually a really good season with them.
So Dwight's bounced around a lot.
He always talks about it getting a fresh start and how he's gonna revitalize his career and all of these things, all things that you would absolutely want to hear.
So that's where you should be a little bit skeptical here.
Dwight is saying all the right things, but it's not like Dwight's, the guy in the past who has said all the wrong things.
It's not like Dwight is the guy who has had all these sound bites where you're just cringing at every comment because he's saying things that nobody should say and he's he's going off script or anything.
Dwight has actually done a pretty good job of saying what people want to hear, and that's what we hear heard today from Dwight was what people want to hear.
And I think he even recognized it because at a certain point in the interview, he mention actually several points.
He mentioned that it's gonna come down to his actions that what he says isn't gonna matter all that much.
It's going to be his actions on the court and off the court that matter, and that's true.
That's actually pretty Ah, pretty good self awareness there by Dwight to understand that what he does on the floor or what he does in front of the media isn't gonna matter all that much.
He can say all the right things, and he is right now he's saying all the right things, but it's not gonna matter much if he doesn't go out there and perform.
If he doesn't live up to his end of the bargain in the locker room, if he doesn't take care of business where he's supposed to.
So That's something to consider here with Dwight.
We can't really say for sure if we can trust him just yet.
Based on what he's saying, It depends on his actions.
So let's talk about the actions that we've seen so far because look, we can hope that we're going to see 100% ready to go. Dwight Howard were.
We can hope that we're gonna see Dwight Howard setting massive screens out on the perimeter to free up some of the Lakers guards.
We can hope that Dwight's gonna be rolling hard to the rim, that he's going to get up and throw down some dunks that are gonna make us think that he's 26 again every once in a while.
Not expect him to do it all the time, But every once in a while we want to see that Dwight Howard again.
We want to see the big blocks at the rim.
We want to see him fired up and providing energy to this Lakers team again.
At 33 you can't expect it all the time, but it would be nice to see that from Dwight Howard.
It would be a huge boost to the Los Angeles Lakers.
If he can, every once in a while have those throwback moments that it takes work.
It takes putting in that effort for him to get there.
So how can we be sure that he's gonna do it? Well, look at what actually has taken already.
He's put his money into it, and this is what I think is an underreported side of this story.
And this is why I think that maybe, just maybe, we can give Dwight the benefit of the doubt here and actually trust that Dwight Howard is going to be here when the going gets tough for your Los Angeles Lakers.
See, here's the deal.
Dwight Howard had a contract.
He got traded by the Washington Wizards to the Memphis Grizzlies.
The Grizzlies then bought out that contract.
Dwight gave back $2.
6 million of that contract in order to get bought out by the Grizzlies. Grizzlies.
Now you can look at it.
You could say, Look, Dwight did not really give back any money because the Lakers are paying him 2.
The Grizzlies pay him 2.
6 million less, but the Lakers are still paying him that money.
So he still gets his money regardless.
Right? So how does he? How is this even an issue for him? How is he even really giving anything back? Let me tell you, the money that the Lakers are giving him is not guaranteed at O if they waive him prior to the deadline in January.
If they wave him in any point, that money stops coming in and he just gets whatever he's made up to that point.
If he shows up to training camp and it's clearly not working and he gets cut, that money is gone.
So if you're Dwight Howard and you think about the situation, you rid you were under contract the Memphis Grizzlies, even if they don't play you a single second, even if you never show up for the team, if they tell you stay home, you still have a contract ironclad.
You are getting that money.
It's coming your way.
He would get that money no matter what.
Just about right.
So, by taking that buyout and then signing a non guaranteed deal with the Lakers, he is risking that money, risking money that he had in his pocket that he had under contract guaranteed to him.
He's putting that on the line.
To me, that says, this has to mean something to him.
This has to be important that not only does he come back to Los Angeles and write a previous wrong, but that he proves that he can still play at a high level.
That's a big deal.
He is betting $2.
And look, you could say Dwight Howard has made a lot of money over the course of his career.
And, yes, he certainly has.
6 million is a lot of money, regardless of who you are.
So he's betting $2.
6 million and basically his career, because if it doesn't work out here with the Lakers, this could be the last stop for him getting all that money, betting his career on things, working out here with the Lakers and on him being able to find success and on him being able to coexist in the locker room and help the team win.
And he's talking about winning a championship.
So yes, he's saying all the things that you want to hear, But he he admitted himself.
It's the actions.
That's what's going to matter what he actually does.
And so far what he's done to me sends a really strong message that he is committed, that he is going to do what it takes and he is gonna live up to his word now again, right? I'm always gonna be a little skeptical here because it's Dwight Howard and he's burned people in the past and it's what he's done over the years, so totally right to be skeptical, totally right to hold back.
It's not like you can just embrace this guy completely and say Hey, this is our guy now water under the bridge, Everything that happened in the past let's say it's all forgot.
If we want to stay a little bit skeptical, I get it if you want to be a little bit reserved.
But I'm saying right now the actions that Dwight has taken, giving back that 2.
6 million and and basically risking it, risking that much money on him, finding success with the Lakers.
I think it's a good sign that he's really bought in and then hopefully he really does have his head on straight like he says that he has.
All right, guys, what do you think? Can we trust Dwight Howard? Is Dwight gonna have the kind of season that we all hope he does right? Because at this point, it's Dwight against father time.
It's Dwight against the negative perception of him.
And you know what? He's the underdog in this story.
He's the guy with his back against the wall fighting for his career, and in that situation, it's hard not to feel sympathetic.
It's hard not to root for him a little bit, even knowing the past.
So what do you think? Can the Lakers fans toward trust Dwight Howard? Is he gonna show up on a nightly basis? Is he going to give the team that boost that they need going respond? In the comments down below, let me know what you think.
I am cautiously optimistic that we now can trust Dwight Howard somewhat.
But you know what? I'm kind of a glass is half full person.
So tell me, if I'm too trusting here, let me know.
Let me know what you think.
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