Dwight Howard may have his final chance to resurrect his career with the Charlotte Hornets after being traded to the franchise this summer.
After joining his hometown Atlanta Hawks as a free agent last year in the hope of recapturing his best form, the big man struggled to assert himself and was offloaded after just one campaign.
Howard spent the first eight years of his career with the Orlando Magic and established himself as the best center in the league during his time there.
He led the Magic to the NBA Finals and became a three-time Defensive Player of the Year winner.
In the five years since he left Florida, he has failed to return to that version of himself and is no longer considered one of the top centers.
Stints with the Los Angeles Lakers and Houston Rockets didn't go according to plan and his demise was compounded this week as he was left off ESPN's annual top 100 player rankings.
But in Charlotte, the 31-year-old will once again be teaming up with Steve Clifford, who was one of his former coaches in Orlando.
Clifford was also a coach with the Lakers during Howard's one season there and the eight-time All-Star believes he is the right man to get the best out of him once again.
“Cliff has been around me from Day One,” Howard said. “He knows the sort of person I am.”
The veteran is looking forward to his new career in Charlotte with much anticipation and believes he will emulate his early years with the Magic.
“This is going to be better than my first couple of years in the league, I think,” he said.
Howard has had to endure much criticism in recent years and admits that he's often been affected by the perception people have of him.
As well as playing at a high level again, Dwight is keen to change those perceptions and prove a point.
“There have been writers who get national attention who have said things about me that stick in people’s minds and in their hearts,” Howard said. “I’ve allowed things that have been said about me to have an effect on me.
“This opportunity for myself to really get back everything that I would say has been taken away. I’m not too much worried about the naysayers, the rankings and stuff, but just the hearts of the people.
"I’m in a much better place mentally, physically and spiritually than I have been in a couple of years.”
Howard brings many of the skills that the Hornets currently lack in their roster and this could well turn out to be a perfect fit for him and the franchise.