Looking back on it all, Dwight Howard said he would not change anything that transpired to land him in Los Angeles with the Lakers. That sounds a bit disingenuous, but OK.
“I don’t have any regrets, you know. I think everything happened the way that it was meant to happen,” Howard said to ESPN The Magazine senior writer Ric Bucher. “I really just wish some of the lies and some of the things being said didn’t come out the way it did, you know.”
Sounds like a regret, right? Anyway. . .
“But I have an opportunity to do something great here in L.A,” Howard continued, “and I can’t look back and think about everything that’s behind me.”
Howard, after months of back-and-forth in Orlando that tarnished his good guy image, was traded to the Lakers in blockbuster 11-player deal. He flip-flopped publicly about what he desired and where he wanted to play – and was even accused of asking then-coach Stan Van Gundy to be fired. His reputation took a beating.
“That’s one of the lessons that I learned, you know. I can’t make everybody happy,” Howard said on ESPN’s SportsCenter.
“And it was a tug of war between my feelings and the fans and everybody else and their feelings and what happened to LeBron. And I saw him — everybody hated him for leaving Cleveland and what he did,” Howard said LeBron James’s defection of Cleveland in 2010 and the backlash he received. “I never wanted anybody to hate me, you know. I wanted everybody to love me, you know, like me, for sticking around and doing what they wanted me to do. And making everybody else happy. And that was a valuable lesson for me, you know.
“I can’t make everybody happy.”
General manager Mitch Kupchak does not appear to be worried about Howard’s recovery.
“Our feeling was, no matter what anyone says, let’s just get him to Los Angeles and we’ll take our chances,” Kupchak said then. “It’s the organization, ownership, the city of Los Angeles, our ability to win games, surrounding Dwight with players that will make it easier for him to play the game and not have to burden a load that’s maybe not fair.”