Dwight Howard addresses past failures with Kobe and Harden

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For a short time, Dwight Howard was one of the NBA's biggest stars.

He was dominant on defense and was enough of a specimen that he did more than enough offensively despite not having a polished game.

He took the Orlando Magic all the way to the 2009 NBA Finals and appeared destined toward one of the best big man careers of all-time.

In 2012, Howard went to the place where many of history's best big men flourished, joining the Los Angeles Lakers in a four-team trade. He was following the lead of Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Shaquille O'Neal in La-La Land.

Even more, he'd be teaming with a still-productive Kobe Bryant, who Howard had just played in the 2009 finals for a team many thought could get back there.

To say things didn't work out would be an understatement and after one season, Howard signed as a free agent with the Houston Rockets.

There, he would join another superstar in James Harden, but again, the stars couldn't co-exist.

Howard's skills as a teammate have been written off by many NBA followers. But he's been playing this season with the hometown Atlanta Hawks and putting together a pretty good season for a team that's headed to the Eastern Conference playoffs.

Howard opened up to Marc Spears of ESPN's The Undefeated in an illuminating Q&A, addressing some of the controversies of the past, of which he hasn't talked much about over the years.

The center said most of the issues in Houston were communication ones.

"The issues they say happened between me and James were small communication issues," Howard said. "Instead of us coming together and talking about it, we allowed other people to do talking. The lines of communication were twisted."

As for his time in L.A., Howard defends himself by saying he was playing hurt and was still effective.

"The situation got twisted and turned," Howard said in the interview. "After that I was like, ‘Basketball is just a business.’ It makes you lose some love for it."

On Kobe, Howard says: "There was never an issue with me and him."

When asked if he thinks his career is Hall of Fame worthy, Howard said, "No doubt."

Howard is an eight-time All-Star and was the three-time Defensive Player of the Year.

It's a great career by any measure but perhaps not the transcendent one that many had forecasted.

Howard will likely be spending the twilight of it on his best behavior, playing a little damage control the rest of the way.

Houston Rockets
Southwest Division
Western Conference
Dwight Howard
L.A. Lakers
Pacific Division
Kobe Bryant
Atlanta Hawks
Southeast Division
Eastern Conference
James Harden
Orlando Magic

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