Image: Bleacher Report
After spending eight years in Orlando and six months recovering from back surgery, Dwight Howard made his debut with the Lakers on Sunday evening in a new gold uniform.
Fans gave Howard a standing ovation as he entered the court during pregame introductions.
According to Howard, “I actually shed a couple of tears. During the starting lineups, one of my teammates caught me, so I tried to hide it,, but I was just excited. It is really emotional, because I hadn’t been on the court in a while. I don’t know what to expect, but it’s a very humbling experience.”
During his first game with the Los Angeles Lakers, Howard scored 19 points and had 12 rebounds with four blocked shots. He played 33 minutes and made five of LA’s 22 turnovers against the Sacramento Kings.
Regardless, the team lost and Howard said, “We lost the game, but there’s a lot of bright spots out there, and we’re going to continue to get better. We’re going to get our timing down and start reading each other a little better, but right now we’re early in the process.”
Howard’s new teammate and Lakers star Kobe Bryant said, “It’s just about the little nuances, a few of our plays… We’ve done it in practice, and I think it was exciting to show the fans what kind of potential we have. I think we’re a little ahead of the curve.”
This was the first game Howard had played since early April when he suffered a herniated disc. He had been recovering from back surgery for the past six months prior to his debut with the LA Lakers.