While in some ways the Lakers bringing Dwight Howard back to free agency was recognition that they should never have gotten away from him in the first place, the version of Howard they are getting back may not be. a carbon copy of the one left.
The Superman who left Los Angeles last offseason was basically on the floor to dunk the ball, block shots and commit serious fouls as the team’s designated executor. But as an Alternate Universe Superman who looks the same on the surface but has a few key differences below the surface due to experiences different from the one we’ve come to know, this version of Howard returns to Los Angeles with a thing in his mind: Three-way shoot.
Alright, alright, maybe it’s not the alone thing in his mind. After all, Howard has said all it takes about sacrifice and all it takes to win a championship. It’s also pretty obvious that he wouldn’t mind hitting a few threes along the way.
This has been clear from the moment Howard showed up to his reintroduction press conference last month. Streaming on Instagram Live that dayHoward took his new teammate Wayne Ellington aside, exclaiming that Ellington is “one of the greatest shooters” before adding “he will help me with my shot this year”.
“Absolutely, we’re going to do it right,” Ellington said with a laugh.
“I’m going to shoot like him,” Howard added.
“He’s shooting 40 (percent) out of three this year,” Ellington joked.
Asked about Howard’s chances of hitting that mark on Media Day this week, Ellington said they were joking at the time, but was nonetheless impressed with what he saw of Howard at the minicamp. of the team in Las Vegas last weekend.
“I saw him shoot a bit, and he impressed me,” Ellington said said Spectrum SportsNet. “I think you’re going to see him do more than three that you’ve never seen him do, and probably take more.”
Socket more than three would not be a high bar to cross. Neither manufacturing more, really. Last season with the Sixers, Howard attempted 20 trebles, making only five. The year before with the Lakers, he went 3-5 from deep, and had never taken more than seven threes in a season before last year. He shot 14-88 (15.9%) from behind the arc during his 17 years in the NBA.
But it’s clear that showing he’s more versatile than his reputation is on Howard’s mind, from the videos he’s posted featuring all of his brands from the depths …
… to his last live streaming session on Instagram, in which he exclaimed that “LeBron said if I get two blocks I can (take) a 3 point … I’m going to try to get nine blocks, in every game!”
James himself has confirmed a (slightly revised) version of this edict, commenting “2 blocks per half and he removes his ball Trey” in a reposted version of a tweet summarizing what Howard said.
Howard himself is predisposed to hyperbole and enthusiasm, but he’s also the introspective type when in a good mood. And on Saturday he was, and while speaking to the media after the Lakers’ fourth day of training, he made it clear that all the Lakers fans who were panicking he was suddenly going to try and turn into a big can relax.
“It’s not like I can’t do it (shoot in threes), but I’ve been asked to do other things. So I understand that’s what the team needs, so I do. But that doesn’t mean you aren’t working on your craft. Because you never know what position you’re going to be in in a game, ”Howard said.
“You are still working and trying to become a master of all things,” Howard continued. “Obviously they don’t need me to shoot threesome every night, but when we’re working on those drills I’m going to do that, because I’m going to get that shot in a game, and I always have to prepare myself. for what lies ahead. I know people might think (mocking voice) ‘It’s Dwight, ohhhhh he did a three.’ But I know how to shoot the ball and I’m not afraid to shoot.
Because he’s Dwight Howard, however, he couldn’t complete his long explanation of his philosophy without a punchline.
“But ‘The Masked Singer’ helped me,” Howard laughed, referring to his appearance on the show as a costumed mascot-style singing octopus last week. “The octopus shot me!” “
So, like singing in an octopus costume on national television, Dwight Howard isn’t going to shoot three every day. But just like when he sang “Tutti Frutti” while dancing during his appearance on “Masked Singer,” Howard is going to give his all on 3-point shots when he gets the chance.
And hey, if that actually leads him to get nine blocks in a game? The Lakers should let him shoot.