Dwight Howard wants Orlando Magic fans to know that he's sorry for the way things went down when he was with the organization.
Howard told Sam Amick of USA Today from his house in Bel Air:
In Orlando, I handled a lot of stuff the wrong way. If any of those people in Orlando are upset with how I did it, I apologize for the way I handled it and the way it was handled in the media.
Howard went on to say that he loved Orlando, but he ultimately "wanted a change" in his life. That, combined with the inner turmoil in the organization, led to him getting traded from the Magic to the Los Angeles Lakers in August.
The 27-year-old center added that he feels as if he's changed as a person and become "a better man" in his journey from Orlando to L.A.
Howard also accepted the way things happened, via the USA Today report: "If it didn't happen, I'd be stuck in my ways. I would never change, and then it would be a lot worse."
Who knows if Howard is being sincere or simply handling his own public relations affairs (he called his former team "a team full of people who nobody wanted" just a few days ago, via USA Today). But he's saying all the right things, which has been a rarity for him the past few months.
The Lakers, who have been battling all season long, grabbed the eighth and final seed in the Western Conference from the Utah Jazz on Sunday with a 90-81 victory over the Chicago Bulls. Howard had 16 points, 21 rebounds, four blocks and one steal while going 8-of-14 from the floor. The team is on a roll, having won 16 of its last 22 games since Jan. 23.
Howard's words come at the right time, shedding negative publicity as the Lakers focus on getting into the playoffs after a rough start. You can call him an attention-seeker or a prima donna, but this is a big step in the right direction.
The Lakers aren't looking to resemble a real-life soap opera in Los Angeles this season. A run-of-the-mill trip to the playoffs will do just fine.