A year removed from playing with the Los Angeles Lakers, Dwight Howard has returned, and he’ll have a new teammate in Russell Westbrook to play with.
Howard played a crucial role for the Lakers in the team’s 2019-20 championship run but went to the Philadelphia 76ers the season after.
He came back on a one-year deal for the veteran minimum this season, but the roster is completely different now.
Westbrook was L.A.’s biggest addition in the offseason, and Howard has formally played with him in the Olympics. Other than that, the two are usually foes on the court.
But now that Howard will get to experience life as Westbrook’s teammate, he detailed during media day why he’s excited.
“Russ, watched him play for a very long time…This guy averages triple-doubles, so it’s like, he loves to pass the ball,” Howard said. “And I watched him in the playoffs last year when we played him, the big men were eating. So when they see Russ was coming to L.A., I said, ‘Oh man, dream come true.’”
Howard continued about how Westbrook’s on-court attributes will have a positive influence on the rest of the squad.
“Just the energy that he brings to the game, the fast pace way he plays, the up and down, the rebounds, the intensity,” Howard said. “I think that part is also going to rub off on everybody else, and all of us are really intense already, but he’s like another level.”
Howard and Westbrook will have their first chance to develop chemistry together on Oct. 3, when the Lakers host the Brooklyn Nets in the NBA’s first preseason game.