Through words only, Howard appears to have finally accepted the fact that he can't make everybody happy. He was made to be a villain for his role in an dragged-out saga with the Orlando Magic, a relationship that ultimately ended in divorce, with Howard landing in Los Angeles as the next great Lakers center.
There's no question that Howard desperately longed to be loved, something he is now admitting, even as he tries to put the Magic mess behind him.
"I don't have any regrets, you know," Howard told ESPN. "I think everything happened the way it was meant to happen. I really just wish some of the lies and some of the things being said didn't come out the way it did, you know.
"But I have an opportunity to do something great here in L.A, and I can't look back and think about everything that's behind me."
The "lies" that Howard alleges undoubtedly shifted Magic fans' thoughts about their former center, spurring an ugly outlash against Howard once a resolution was finally reached.
"I never wanted anybody to hate me, you know," he said in his conversation with Ric Bucher. "I wanted everybody to love me, you know, like me, for sticking around and doing what they wanted me to do. And making everybody else happy. And that was a valuable lesson for me, you know.
"I can't make everybody happy. I just want to see that. I felt like if I signed an extension, everything would be right in the NBA, everything would be right in Orlando. The fans would be happy. But I was forgetting about me. I learned that lesson. I have to do what's best for Dwight. I can't please everybody."
The Lakers will take on the Magic in Orlando on March 12, marking Howard's first return to the only NBA city he's known until now.
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