After a tumultuous summer, the Los Angeles Lakers season was always going to be interesting. Given the roster turnover, it’s hard not to look at their situation with a bit of fascination or skepticism.
But, with the arrival (or, perhaps more appropriately, the return) of Dwight Howard, their season has taken another turn toward the surreal.
In the wake of DeMarcus’ Cousins absence from the team, the Lakers were left a single true center, JaVale McGee, on the roster. Enter Howard, who burned almost every bridge upon his exit from the team in 2013.
Howard, alongside Steve Nash and Kobe Bryant, was expected to usher in the next generation of Laker basketball when the team acquired him from the Orlando Magic in August 2012. Instead, ailed by back injuries and stunted by an ever-present animosity between himself and Bryant, the Lakers dove into a spiral that they have yet to recover from (the LeBron James acquisition notwithstanding).
The Dwightmare, as their season came to be known, drove Howard into a funk that, like the Lakers, he has yet to curb. In the six years since, Howard has played with four different teams: the Houston Rockets, Atlanta Hawks, Charlotte Hornets and Washington Wizards and has looked like another player entirely compared to his time in Orlando.