Howard Aims to Earn Players’ Trust
Sunday marked the first time in Dwight Howard’s career with the Los Angeles Lakers that he played in a game that Kobe Bryant did not, as Bryant missed his first game of the season to rest his sprained left ankle and heal up from the flu.
The occasion begged the question: Has he thought about what life in L.A. could be like post-Bryant with him as the clear go-to guy and face of the franchise?
“In Orlando, I was the guy that everything went through,” Howard said following shootaround as the Lakers prepped for their game against the Sacramento Kings. “I know that position. That’s why we all play. We play and I play because I want to put the team on my back and carry those guys to the Finals. That’s always been my goal, and I love having that on my back. Being able to just lead these guys — that’s what I want to accomplish, and I just want these guys to have total trust in me. The franchise has trust in me, and it’s the same thing with the coaches and the players. When I show those guys I can go down there and score, make the right play, then they’re going to trust me. So, that’s how I see it, and it’s going to happen. We just got to be patient.”