Video: Lakers' Dwight Howard Says He's 'Never Been a Bad Teammate'

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorSeptember 11, 2019

Washington Wizards center Dwight Howard dunks the ball during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Alex Brandon/Associated Press

Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard went on In Depth with Graham Bensinger and expressed his dismay over perceptions that he's a bad teammate.

"The one thing that I really hated was just hearing people say that I was a cancer in the locker room or I'm not good to have around teammates," Howard said. "It really affected me for a while."

When Bensinger asked how the assertions affected him, Howard continued.

"Because it's not me," Howard said. He then cited winning Teammate of the Year with the Atlanta Hawks in 2016-17, noting how earning that honor didn't jibe with reports about relationships with his teammates.

Those stories have surfaced over the years, and Rodger Sherman of The Ringer outlined a few of them.

Of note, Calvin Watkins of ESPN said the relationship between Howard and James Harden during his three seasons in Houston was "cordially bad."

ESPN.com's Zach Lowe (h/t Dime Magazine's Jamie Cooper) said on his podcast that he heard reports of "Hawks players learning about the trade and screaming with jubilation into their phones" when the Hawks dealt Howard to Charlotte in 2017.

Ex-NBA center Brandon Haywood said on Sirius XM Radio, per Bleacher Report's Howard Beck, that Howard did not get along with the Hornets while he was in Charlotte.

Regardless of what did or didn't happen or how his ex-teammates perceive him, Howard has a second chance with the Lakers, with whom he played a single season (2012-13). L.A. became an instant championship contender when it acquired six-time All-Star big man Anthony Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans this offseason.