"My team in Orlando was a team of guys who nobody wanted. And I led that team with a smile on my face," Howard said.
Now there are two ways of looking at this.
1. Dwight is saying that that team was a scrappy group of underdogs who came together. But that's not really the one he's talking about there. He's talking about his own accomplishments.
2. Dwight is saying his teammates weren't any good and he still managed to pull them to the Finals in 2009.
It sounds a lot more like the latter than the former, but it's open for interpretation. Maybe Howard will come out later this week before the Lakers face the Magic next Tuesday in his return and say that he meant they were underdogs.
But the 2009 team had Hedo Turkoglu, who is awful now, but was very good from 2008 to 2009. It had Rashard Lewis just a smidge past his prime, who was a deadly 3-point and mid-range shooter. Jameer Nelson was an All-Star that year and it wasn't all lobs to Howard.
The truth is, Howard has never been a dominant offensive force like the great centers in league history. He's very good, very powerful, and very strong. But he's not particularly skilled in terms of touch. The Magic were filled with guys who stepped up in those playoff series and made plays, like J.J. Redick.
Also, Howard is talking about Earl Clark, who has been starting a lot for the Lakers during their recent surge. So that has to make Clark feel good.
It just doesn't seem like Howard is ever going to get out of the habit of saying things that land him in hot water. Throughout the course of the two-part interview he lashes out at the media, lashes out at the fans. He makes himself out to be the victim. He never takes responsibility for his own part in the turmoil from Orlando to L.A. That's why people haven't embraced him again. Maybe if he wins a title, it'll all go away. But he'll have to get out of his own way first.
And he seems to be too busy laughing and throwing teammates under the bus.