Photo: Taoyuan Leopards/Instagram

Dwight Howard, the veteran center, recently shed light on his departure from the Lakers after the 2012-2013 season. In the interview, Howard, now 37 years old, disclosed the thought process behind his decision to join the Rockets instead.

“I felt the best team at that time was obviously, I wanted to go to Brooklyn, that didn’t happen. So I went to the Lakers,” said Howard. However, it was an encounter with James Harden, the Rockets’ rising star, that influenced his choice. “When I saw James Harden, I looked at him like a younger version of Kobe,” Howard explained, emphasizing his admiration for both players’ skills.

“I was thinking at the time me and James could be like a new version of Kobe and Shaq because he was the young two-guard that’s coming up in the league, I’m the older center that has been dominating, something like that. Maybe we got a chance. The furthest we got was the Western Conference Finals. I feel like we wasn’t on the page like we needed to,” he said.

Although Howard saw the potential of forming a formidable duo with Harden, drawing parallels to the iconic Kobe-Shaq partnership, their journey in Los Angeles didn’t pan out as expected. Despite reaching the Western Conference Finals, Howard expressed that the team wasn’t in sync to achieve their ultimate goal.