Los Angeles Lakers’ center Dwight Howard has signaled his intent to play for the USA at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Howard was forced to miss the 2012 Games in London due to a back injury but when asked if he wanted to play in Brazil in three years time, the big man simply said “no doubt”.
By the time the Rio Olympics rolls into town, Howard will be 30-years-old. He’s still upset that he missed the Games in England, which saw the USA beat Spain to retain the gold medal.
“I was pissed off,” Howard told ESPNLA.com. “I was mad I couldn’t play in the playoffs. I was mad I couldn’t play in the Olympics. I was pissed. I was looking forward to going to London. I was looking forward to making a big run in the playoffs last season, so I wasn’t too happy about the fact that I had to have surgery and miss a lot of basketball.”
Despite the USA’s gold medal triumph, they only had one true center in Tyson Chandler. Blake Griffin, Chris Bosh and LaMarcus Aldridge were all forced to pull out with injuries while Lamar Odom and Andrew Bynum failed to make the cut. Kevin Love and Anthony Davis were Chandler’s back-ups in London even though the latter of the two was only used in the latter stages of the contests.
Howard said to ESPNLA.com that he has maintained a relationship with USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo.
“He’s cool with me,” Howard said. “He’s always been someone that I’ve thought highly of and he’s always supported me.”