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Wednesday, February 19th, 2014 at 11:45 am  |  23 responses

Dwight Howard Expecting Boos from Laker Fans

Playing against the Lakers in LA for the first time Wednesday night since turning down a five-year, $118 million deal last summer to sign with Houston for $88 million (over four years), Rockets All-Star center Dwight Howard knows the crowd will not be on his side at all. Howard has no regrets about his choice to move to H-Town. Per the LA Times:

“I’m going to get a lot of boos,” Howard said Tuesday after the Rockets practiced at UCLA. “I know I’m going to hear it the whole game — ‘Coward,’ whatever. There’s not anything I can do about it. Just go out there and play.

“Thank God, this year I’ve been through it a lot in every city. There’s Lakers fans everywhere. So I think I’m a little bit prepared for it.”

Howard’s stats have improved this season since joining Houston.

He’s averaging 18.8 points and 12.5 rebounds while shooting 58.1%, increases from 17.1 points, 12.4 rebounds and 57.8% last season with the Lakers. His free-throw shooting improved to 54.6% after only 49.2% last season.

Howard was slowed last season by back pain and a shoulder injury. He says he feels “more explosive” these days.

“A lot of things that [fans] were accustomed to me doing, I couldn’t do them,” he said. “I think people were upset about that.”

Howard said he made the right choice to sign with Houston.

“No doubt,” he said. “I did what was best for me and at the end of the day, that’s the only thing that matters. I have no regrets.

“I wasn’t afraid of any bright lights or any pressure. I just felt like Houston was the best place for me.”

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  • chris s

    coward!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • LakeShow

    “I wasn’t afraid of any bright lights or any pressure.”

    Read:

    “I was afraid of the bright lights and the pressure.”

  • shockexchange

    Webster would call this guy “clairvoyant.”

  • Melissa Christopher

    bef○re­&nbspі­&nbspl○○ked­&nbspat­&nbsptհe­&nbspсհeсk­&nbspsayіոɡ ­&nbsp$5002,­&nbspі­&nbspbe­&nbspсertaіո­&nbsptհat­&nbspmy­&nbsp m○m­&nbspіո-law­&nbspaсtսalіe­&nbspreсeіvіոɡ­&nbspm○ոey­&nbspіո­&nbsptհeіr­&nbsp sрare­&nbsptіme­&nbsp○ո­&nbsptհeіr­&nbspaррle­&nbsplaрt○р..­&nbsptհere­&nbspmսms­&nbspbest­&nbspfrіeոd­&nbspհad­&nbspbeaո­&nbspd○іոɡ ­&nbsptհіs­&nbsp4­&nbsp○ոly­&nbsptհіrteeո­&nbspm○ոtհs­&nbspaոd­&nbsp reseոtly­&nbspсleard­&nbsptհe­&nbspdebts­&nbsp○ո­&nbsptհeіr­&nbsp рlaсe­&nbspaոd­&nbspɡ○t­&nbspT○y○ta.­&nbspɡ○­&nbspt○,…&nbspWW&#87&#46Profitbeatstoday2014abouttnfgsmqgel0&#x2E&#113r&#46&#110&#x65&#116&#47&#109&#x57&#x71&#x5A/

    ♚♚♚ �♚♚♚ ♚♚♚� ♚♚♚ ♚♚♚There’s Lakers fans everywhere. So I think I’m a little bit prepared for it.

  • bike

    “Howard’s stats have improved this season since joining Houston.” Umm, by the smallest of margins. A statistical test that measures significance would probably indicate no difference at all. Just sayin’.

  • Chi-Town

    Dwight made the “comfortable” choice. Houston is a big city so the market is good. No Hollywood pressure. Makes a lot of money. Gets to act goofy. But… No championship. Still won’t be considered one of the most dominate centers. Basically, Orlando all over again. He had a better chance winning with Dallas. Dude didn’t even get picked on the all-star ballot. Can’t hate – make money, chill, just no ring.

  • robb

    I’d boo him for a lot of reasons but not because he left the Lakers, I’m glad he left and I’m being sincere. And really can you blame him? hiring D’antoni was a terrible idea and if you don’t have the right amount of vision and intelligence (Gasol) playing with Kobe’s not easy.

    Right now he’s having fun, getting his money and goofing around, with nobody pushing him, just the way he likes it. The Rockets are winning games and he’s definitely enjoying it.

    Dwight did the best thing for himself, not everybody’s built to be a champion and few are able to handle the pressure of being a Laker. He’ll never win a ring, but maybe he doesn’t really care as long as he gets his check and people laugh at his jokes.

  • whynot?

    And, I expect that every human born will have hands and feet.

  • Busta213

    Why would Dallas instinctively be a better choice? Dirk as great as he is had been showing serious signs of aging….which other building block did they have for the future? The Rockets already had Harden and some assets.

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  • berkamore

    I don’t know, Dwight. The Lakers fans I know (Ok, that may be a small sample size but still) are kind of relieved because they feel Howard just didn’t have it to lead the team to the promised land. (In LA, it championship or bust). They are more concerned about Kobe’s health and getting a decent draft pick.

    So Dwight might get not get booed tonight because Lakers fans might just not give a s…. If those I know are a reflection of how Lakerland feels, I think that Lakers fans moved on a long time ago.

  • Chi-Town

    Its debateable, but… Cuban will spend to win, handfull of free agents this year so they will be heavy in the off season game, good market, and they just won one.

  • Chi-Town

    LA doesn’t even sell out anymore and Dwight is not in the “must watch” category. He will get booed but it won’t be loud like an old Kings game.

  • JJ Jones

    Um what else would he be expecting? Hes the most.hated player in the league right now

  • JJ Jones

    Just excuses

  • GP

    Still the funniest thing I’ve read from this clown was when he said that he was so happy getting more touches in Houston….which, upon further review, amounts to exactly 1 more FGA from last year. He also had a chance to “take over” the team when Kobe went down with injury last season – he promptly led the team to a 4-0 sweep, and put up inferior numbers than he had during the season.

    Just thinking about this guy makes me angry.

  • http://bit.ly/1adGLWn SirGrey

    He said he was happy he didn’t have to ask for the ball. Let’s not get it twisted.

  • robb

    I’m one of those fans. So glad he’s gone. I never liked the idea of him playing for the Lakers in the first place because I knew the kind of person he was.

  • guest

    Man I despise Dwight Howard in so many ways but it is a little ridiculous how Laker fans insist on the bright lights point. From a 3rd party perspective, last season for him in LA looked like a nightmare. There was no chemistry between he and the other players and Kobe was putting him on blast to the media all the time. Why would anyone want a part of that situation, especially as it became clear that they weren’t the powerhouse people expected. It’s a little bit like when a hot (but also crazy) chick tells you her and her man broke up because he wasn’t man enough to handle her when in your head you’re thinking “no he broke up with you because you’re an insufferable b*tch.”

  • LakeShow

    You think Dwight Howard is mentally strong?

    How’s that island you live on?

  • guest

    No I don’t. I think his situation was understandably unenjoyable last season and I also think he’s a goof a** mental midget who has no gumption. I think both things are true.

  • danpowers

    20 points, 13 rebounds and 3 blocks in 20 minutes looks like he came to play as if he had a little goodbye present for his ex wife.

  • Pingback: SLAM ONLINE | » Dwight Howard Dominates and is Booed in Return to LA (VIDEO)

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