Dwight Howard’s Full Circle Just One Win Away


Eleven years ago, Dwight Howard played in his first NBA Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers. There is no comparison on how great of a center Howard was in the earliest part of his career.


Howard was drafted No. 1 overall in 2004 by the Orlando Magic, where he made an instant impact with the team averaging a double-double. Many NBA fans believed that Howard would be that franchise player for Orlando and help the Magic win their first ever championship.

The Magic have only been to the finals twice, in 1995 and 2009. In 2009, Howard was in his fifth year with the team. Averaging a double-double of 15.4 points and 15.2 rebounds during the playoff run and defeating his current teammate LeBron James in the Eastern Conference Finals, Howard and company would face Kobe Bryant and the Lakers.

Despite losing 4-1 in that series, Howard is back in the Finals in Orlando, but this time with the Lakers. Things have come full circle for the veteran center.

2012-2013 Lakers

Many teams and basketball fans counted Howard out when the Lakers acquired him via trade. He didn’t have the season everyone was hoping he would have with Bryant.

On paper, having one of the top players and an athletic center like Howard looked wonderful. However, the NBA world wasn’t sure whether or not Howard was still able to play basketball, even after his prime. Would he have the same intensity as he did earlier in his career?

The short answer is no. In his first season with the Lakers, basketball fans saw the stint. During that time, Mike D’Antoni was coaching and the Lakers were not getting the Orlando Magic Howard they were expecting, and that intrigued everyone. Could it be the coaching? Could it be the pressure of playing for one of the most historic franchises ever?

2019-2020 Lakers

Howard returned to the Lakers in Aug. 2019 after they had already traded for Anthony Davis and re-signed JaVale McGee. The eight-time All-NBA selection put his ego aside and became a role player.

Starting Games 4 and 5 against the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference Finals, Howard was a force on the defensive end as well as on the boards. He was the main player tasked with slowing down Nikola Jokic, which helped LA advance to the Finals.

Now, one more win and Howard’s full circle will be complete. He has a chance to win his first ever championship in the city he was drafted, but with the Lakers (the team that beat him) is the full circle no one could have ever imagined.

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About Myicha Drakeford

Lover of basketball and passion for writing. Getting stories out and enjoying this hobby of mine.

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