Dwight Howard is finally an NBA champion. On Sunday night, the Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Miami Heat in Game 6 of the NBA Finals to win the league title. Howard signed with the Lakers this past offseason, and when the game was over, the Atlanta native posted an emotional video on his Instagram Live account.
"Don't ever give up on your dreams," Howard said. "You can f—ing do it. I swear, just keep fighting. I swear to God, don't ever give up on yourself. Look at this s—. I'm sorry for cursing to all the kids out there. Bro listen, don't ever give up on yourself. You're already a champion." Howard, 34, has had an interesting NBA career that includes two stints with the Lakers. He first joined the team in 2012 after spending eight years with the Orlando Magic. Despite being named an All-Star that season, his time with the Lakers was considered a disappointment and signed with Houston Rockets the following year.
On Monday morning, ESPN revealed a 2013 tweet from Howard that was directed to the Lakers fans. "I hope I get a chance to make it up to you!" Howard wrote. Thank you L.A." After the game, Howard talked about how it felt to hold the championship trophy.
"I was just like, 'man, this is the moment that I've been dreaming about every day since I came back to this team," Howard said. "Holding up the trophy, it really still hasn't hit me yet that we won. Right now, I am just trying to enjoy this moment. I am very grateful and thankful just to have this opportunity and this is a blessing from the most high. I don't have a lot of words, I'm just very grateful."
Howard was drafted No. 1 overall by the Magic in 2004. He emerged as one of the best centers in the league, winning Defensive Player of the Year three consecutive seasons (2009-2011) and was named the Slam Dunk Contest winner in 2008. Along with playing for the Magic, Lakers and Rockets, Howard has spent time with the Atlanta Hawks, Charlotte Hornets and Washington Wizards. Howard has been named to the All-Star team eight times and is an eight-time selection to the All-NBA Team.