Dwight Howard Fitting in With Lakers
Dwight Howard left his new team’s practice facility Wednesday in much the same way he had in the three weeks before: off the court that sits beneath all those retired jerseys of Lakers legends, past the friendly staffer at the front who’s been predicting — no, requesting — between 65 and 70 wins this season and into the passenger seat of the black Escalade that awaited him just outside the door en route to Nash St. and the 405.
Another successful session at training camp was in the books, with Howard yet another step closer to his official return from April back surgery and the notion that these new-look Lakers will be nearly unstoppable seeming more real by the day. And Howard, who hoarded the NBA spotlight so mercilessly in the nine months that led to his mid-August trade from Orlando, continued a seamless transition that should have the rest of the league even more scared than before.
From the local Clippers squad that is a distant second-fiddle once again in Los Angeles to the other 28 teams that already had plenty to worry about with the Heat and Thunder, Lakers opponents needed this to go very differently. They needed Howard to take the diva route, to declare the Lakers his team and act as if he couldn’t be comfortable in a place where he wasn’t, well, center of attention.