Dwight Howard sat down with Stephen A. Smith to talk about how badly he wants to succeed in Los Angeles, how his body is holding up, his production this season, the past with the Magic, Kobe and much more!


According to Dave McMenamin | ESPNLosAngeles.com:

Dwight Howard knows how all the attention surrounding his exit from the Orlando Magic created a “Dwightmare” situation for everyone involved and he wants to avoid the negative spotlight with his free agency decision looming in Los Angeles.

“I’m not a crybaby,” Howard told ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith on SportsCenter on Monday. “I didn’t try to cry my way out of Orlando. That was never my intention, or not what I did at all. And I understand everybody thought it was that way because of what was being put out there. I’m not indecisive. I love this game. You know I play it because it inspires me; it inspires millions of kids around me, adults and all. And, I’m going to have fun while I do it.”

Howard becomes a free agent July 1 but wants to live in the present, sticking to his goal of winning the first championship of his nine-year career this season, no matter how unlikely it may seem with the Los Angeles Lakers getting off to a 22-26 start more than three months into the season.

“Right now, my only focus is to get us into the playoffs and win the championship,” Howard said. “Nothing else matters at this point.”

Coming into Tuesday, the Lakers trailed the Houston Rockets by 3½ games for the eighth and final spot in the Western Conference playoff picture.

The Lakers have made it clear that they want Howard to be a keystone for the franchise moving forward, with general manager Mitch Kupchak telling Newsday this week that the center will not be traded, but Howard does not want to focus on the future just yet.

“I understand, you know, what the Lakers want,” Howard said. “And I also understand that right now, there’s no need for all the circus, and all the stuff that happened last year to start back up. I don’t want it, my team doesn’t need it, I don’t need it, and frankly, our fans don’t need it neither.”