Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard admitted he thought he would never again make the NBA Finals. Howard, who signed returned to the Lakers last offseason for his second team with the team, is now through to his second NBA Finals after the Lakers beat the Denver Nuggets 4-1.
In 2009, a Kobe Bryant-led Lakers beat the Howard-led Orlando Magic 4-1 in the NBA Finals. "I didn’t think that this would ever happen," Howard said, per Sports Illustrated. "I’m just so thankful and grateful that I have this opportunity.
I’m going to make the most of it." "Everything that’s happened over the last couple years: the ups and the downs, the surgeries, you know, all the things that have happened, this moment is just very special," Howard said.
"And I just want to stay in the moment and I’m just grateful. I know our job is not complete yet but I’m just very grateful to be in this position again. So, I’ll take full advantage of every single moment that I have on the court and with my teammates.
Because I haven’t been to the Finals in 11 years. That’s a very long time. And it’s one of the hardest things to do. So, I’m just very grateful."
Howard happy for his son David
Earlier this year, the mother of Howard's six-year-old son passed away at the age of 31 and both Howard and his son David felt extremely bad.
But now Howard has been through to the NBA Finals and recently his son David joined him in the NBA bubble in Orlando. Having son soon cheering for him will be a motivating factor for Howard as the Lakers are set to take on the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals.
"I think it will mean the world to him (David)," Howard said. "He will never forget this moment and either will I. I know earlier when he first got to the bubble, me and him sat down and he said this is the worst year of his life and he asked why life is so hard.
I didn’t know how to really answer that for him. But I just try to be the right example for him. Every single day. On the court, off the court. He pushes me to be the best I can be, so, I’m grateful that we had this opportunity together, despite everything that’s happened in his young life. Just to make this moment very special for him."