Dwight Howard hasn't been a Laker for long, but he's already impressing his coach and teammates.
The eight-time All-Star signed with Los Angeles in free agency and wants to do everything he can to help the Lakers improve this season. First-year coach Frank Vogel said Tuesday that his "centers have really impressed" him, giving credit to Howard for his leadership.
"Dwight Howard has been all business since he came in this time around," Vogel told reporters (via ESPN). "We're asking our whole group to have a seriousness about ourselves. He's been an all-business type of guy. It's really helped us to be focused and working on the task at hand."
Howard played just nine games last season because of injury and he's played with four different teams (Wizards, Hawks, Hornets, and Rockets) over the last four seasons before joining Los Angeles.
Through 15 NBA seasons, Howard has averaged 17.4 points with 12.6 rebounds and two blocks per game. He's been named Defensive Player of the Year three times, but the veteran center said he's not relying on his past accomplishments to determine his future.
"None of those accomplishments, they mean nothing right now," Howard said last week. "My job is to help this team win. All the stuff that happened in the past doesn't matter at this present time. I just want to stay in the moment, stay focused on what I need to do for this team, to help this team be successful."
Anthony Davis praised Howard for his mentality and said he's excited to play alongside the veteran.
"Dwight has it on his mind that he wants to help this team win," Davis said. "And whatever that entails, he's going to do it. He wants to have his second run in L.A. be a great one, and he's come in, he goes in the weight room, he gets his treatment and then comes on the court and gets his work in and practices. So he's been about business from day one, and that's all I can ask for for a guy to come in, get his work in and be ready to go."
The Lakers are coming off a 37-45 season, missing the playoffs for the sixth straight season.