Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard admitted saw a team psychiatrist during his squad's up and down season where it failed to meet expectations and bounced from the NBA playoffs early.
"I have only one problem and it's between my ears," he said in an interview with Los Angeles Times columnist T.J. Simers
. "I just think too much."
Howard has been showered with criticism for the past two seasons, first for his topsy-turvy relationship with the Orlando Magic in an injury-plagued year and then failing to produce consistency when he joined Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers this season. Howard's future is up in the air once again as the all-star center gauges his free agent options.
I want to win; I've done everything else," he said in the interview. "I just want to win."
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Will that be with the Lakers under current coach Mike D'Antoni, who was brought in after play started to replace Mike Brown last season?
"I love him," Howard said. "He's a great person and I'm glad we had the opportunity to be together."
Howard said one of his biggest changes is that he will no longer think of himself as a people pleaser. He said he learned fans will never been regardless what he does. Despite leading the Orlando Magic to four consecutive 50-win seasons, two trips to the Eastern Conference finals and one trip to the NBA finals, Howard was showered with boos on a return trip back to Orlando this season as a Laker.
"I can't do it anymore," he said. "When I came back from my shoulder injury, some didn't think I was giving my all. And nobody wanted to hear what I said about coming off back surgery. It wasn't fair to me. I was on a walker and four months later playing basketball. I played hurt."
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Howard said he struggled to duck media reports about criticism and speculation about his future. He said this year he wants to do less in shielding himself and have more fun.
"I have no idea what people are saying," he said. "I don't pay attention to the good, bad or the ugly. Or else I couldn't live. I locked myself in my house last year, but no more. I feel so much better now, healthy, more fun to come and I know I can make a difference next season."
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