Dwight Howard: “Just to hear that word ‘champion’. You feel it in your heart”

Dwight Howard
Photo: NBA/Twitter

Dwight Howard, along with other Los Angeles Lakers veterans such as Jared Dudley or Markieff Morris, won his first NBA title.

It was certainly a magical moment in a venue that is surrounded by magic as Disney World played perfect hosts for the NBA Finals. You can add your own magic for next season by logging on to NJ bets to get a head start on sports betting and casino play.

After the Disney adventure ended and the confetti fell down on Howard, he shared his feelings about finally becoming a champion.

“I don’t even think I’m going to sleep,” he said. “It’s going to be amazing. Just to hear that word ‘champion’. You feel it in your heart. You say it to yourself. But to see it actually manifest in the physical is amazing.

“Hearing that word ‘champion’ means a lot. It’s not just about having the trophy but it’s a mindset. A couple of years ago I said ‘I’m a champion’ and people laughed It wasn’t being a champion of basketball game but a champion in life.

“Knowing that there’s many times that we all have failed and I have failed but instead of folding and laying down a champion gets back up. I’m just happy to celebrate this moment with the Lakers and Laker Nation and my teammates. It’s been an amazing journey for all of us.

Howard’s journey to the NBA Finals and being a champion has been long and no doubt, he has waited 16 seasons for his chance to lift the Larry O’Brien Trophy. But in his second spell with the Lakers, he finally got his moment.

Touted as one of the elite big men in the NBA through his time with the Orlando Magic, Howard’s move to the Lakers in 2012 was expected to be a year in which he would challenge for an NBA title with the likes of Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash alongside him.

The Lakers were billed as a super team but injuries hampered the “stacked” Lakers and after reaching the post-season as the last seed, were eliminated in the first round.

Eight years on and four other teams later, he finally got his second appearance in the NBA Finals – following his first in 2009 when the Magic were swept by the Lakers – and with a different squad and in his second spell in the yellow and gold, Howard finally got his magical ending.