LeBron James had to endure being labeled a villain when he left Cleveland for Miami a few years ago, but eventually, he’d get into the good graces of fans again… thanks to back-to-back championships. Dwight Howard knows this all too well, and hopes, he can eventually follow the same path … from villain to NBA champion.
In a recent interview with Yahoo! Sports, the new Houston Rockets big man explained how James’ redemption represents the light in the distance.
“He got hated for a lot of reasons,” Howard told Yahoo. “I was really, really happy when LeBron finally won. I was unhappy that it wasn’t me up there, but I was glad to see him get through that whole thing.
“I knew exactly how he felt,” he continued. “People putting you down, saying bad things about your character, who you are as a person. It doesn’t sit well with you. When you go out on the court, you want to show them, ‘Hey, this isn’t who I am.’
“Here’s a guy who’s a great basketball player. He did something that was for him, and he did it in front of the whole world. I realized then that our issues, our problems, our flaws are out there for the world to see. You can’t run from it. We have to learn from our mistakes and move forward.”
With a place he can call home in Houston, and the hoopla regarding free agency over, he says he feels like he’s in a better place.
“I’m happy all that is over with,” Howard said, “and I’m in a better place physically and emotionally.”