Howard apologizes from Hollywood home
by Sam Amick, USA TODAY Sports
LOS ANGELES — The famous view on the road to Dwight Howard’s house in Bel Air is nothing short of spectacular, the Hollywood Hills below unfolding into the valley where stars have come and gone.
On a clear day, it has been said of this classic route on Mulholland Drive, you can see all the way to Canoga Park, some 14 miles away. And on this day, Howard — the Los Angeles Lakers center and aspiring actor whose dreams of becoming an icon had so much to do with him coming here — can see all the way to Orlando.
The big man who was so beloved there returns Tuesday for the first time since he was traded seven months ago, this time as the villain. In an exclusive interview with USA TODAY Sports, Howard acknowledged that this script — the one that included twists and turns and battered his once-sparkling image — should have been written differently.
“In Orlando, I handled a lot of stuff the wrong way,” he said, sitting at his kitchen table. “If any of those people in Orlando are upset with how I did it, I apologize for the way I handled it and the way it was handled in the media.
“I really just got caught up in wanting to please everybody else. I really love that city. That was the hardest thing to do was to leave that city, because I basically grew up there. That was my whole life. Orlando was it. I did not want to leave all that behind — the city, just everything about it. The fans. But I wanted a change for my life. I just felt like there was something else out there for me.”
The change in scenery isn’t the only one that has taken place for Howard.
These past 15 months — from the trade demands in Orlando to the April back surgery from which he says he returned too soon to the public relations disaster that turned fans against him and led to the loss of sponsorships with McDonald’s and Gatorade — convinced Howard that he needed to look at … [For more on Dwight Howard apologizes to Orlando from Hollywood home, click here.]