Dwight Howard is hugging me in the Lakers' locker room before Sunday's game.

I know I've become close with the team, but what does it say when a Laker wants to hug me more than the wife does?

Now I could understand the hug maybe a month or so ago with no one seemingly liking the guy and Howard left alone with only his smile and Page 2 as a supporter.

But three hours after a ho-hum win over Chicago, my guy Howard wants yet another hug.

He starts chasing me around the locker room, and I would have made a considerable donation to the Lakers' charity of choice had they made Kobe available to witness the whole thing.

But what can I say? Athletes just seem to gravitate toward me; maybe Howard is hearing the joy in my heart.

The Lakers are the No. 8 seed!

The Lakers are the No. 8 seed!

The Lakers are the No. 8 seed!

Glory be, keep the bums coming on the schedule and the Lakers might end up ruling the NBA world, especially with the way my boyfriend is playing.

He's just killing it. Twenty-one rebounds against the Bulls and now 62 career games with 20 or more. Another 600 or 700 more games like this one and he'll catch Wilt.

Throw in 16 points, ask the questions, and yes, his legs still aren't right, his shoulder is still torn, and he will have more to offer when really healthy.

And yet he's now dominating games.

Hard for the critics to make the case that Howard doesn't belong in a Lakers uniform. But then what were they thinking in the first place, the Lakers possessing the best center in the game and they were supposed to just get rid of him?