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Dwight Howard wasn't a disappointment on the court in 2011-12, but he was more than a disaster off it.
Good thing for Howard that winning makes everyone forget. Taking from LeBron James' notebook, court success and a championship can cure many things, especially Howard's career off the court. Laker fans won't care if Howard was a jerk on his way out of Orlando. All they care about is getting to the NBA Finals and spanking whoever they face.
As noted earlier in the Gasol section, the Lakers will implement the Princeton offense this season. In order to make the most of the new offense, Howard will need to become a strong passer and selfless player (or at least hope Kobe Bryant can become a selfless player).
Sports Illustrated's Sam Amick asked Pete Carril, the coach who perfected the Princeton offense, how Howard would fit into the new Lakers offense. Carril said:
With coaching and teaching and understanding of what this can do, he might turn out to be better than he is now. He should be. If he takes instruction and he listens, and of course he's playing with better players now too. He's got two Hall of Fame players for sure on that team at guard, so they're going to have a profound influence on him.
Carril's assessment of the effect Nash and Bryant will have on Howard needs to be hammered home. Not only will those two players improve Howard's game on the court, but they will help him off the court as well.
Howard has never shown the ability to be a good team leader. There's no better leader in the NBA than Nash, and as you know, Bryant is the best there is in terms of leading by example. Bryant's work ethic is legendary.
The two guards will have a profound effect on Howard not only as a player, but as a person. The first step in Howard's career revival was getting traded to the Lakers. Now he's finally under the right guidance that will help him reach his true potential as one of the game's true great big men.
Now if only Howard could develop an offensive game like another great Laker big man. That's when the rest of the NBA would really be in trouble.
Follow Branden FitzPatrick on Twitter @divingmelvin