Photo: Associated Press

Dwight Howard signed a one-year deal with the Philadelphia 76ers, and he is ready to become part of the team’s veteran leadership.

The former Lakers’ center and NBA champion talked about how he is planning to mentor All-Star center Joel Embiid to manage his ‘playful side’.

(via ESPN’s Tim Bontemps):

“I think the things Joel does is great. It makes other opponents upset, it keeps him locked in and the team plays better. Now will there be times when we all have to be a little bit more serious?

Yes. And that’s something we’ll all have to learn together. How to be in certain situations. But I don’t think that’s a part of sacrifice. I think that’s a part of just understanding time and place.

“And I think that will be good for me to help show some of the younger guys because I have been in that position before where people thought I wasn’t focused or that I was playing too much.

Maybe for the people on the outside it did look like I was playing around too much. So it’s just finding ways to do things right for the team, and I think we’ll do that this year.”

Howard was locked in during the last season being an important part of the Lakers’ success in the postseason. The LA franchise proceed to win the NBA title, for the first time since 2010.

He averaged 7.5 points and 7.3 rebounds with 1.1 blocks and 18.9 minutes per in 69 games with the Lakers last season.