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Dwight Howard says his decision to leave the Lakers was inspired by Batman


With his latest explanation as to why he decided to not re-sign with the Los Angeles Lakers and instead join the Houston Rockets organization, it certainly seems like Dwight Howard is attempting to co-opt the entire DC Comics superhero universe, leaving only secondary characters for the rest of his NBA colleagues. Why? Because Howard, already known as Superman, says the reasoning behind his flight from L.A. was inspired by Batman, specifically the film, “The Dark Knight Rises.”

Yep, leave it to Dwight Howard to come up with this kind of stuff. Not only does he mine superhero mythology for inspiration and his nickname, he also plays one on TV.

Speaking with USA Today‘s Sam Amick for an extensive interview while seated on a couch within his new home arena, the Toyota Center, Howard attempted to paint a picture as to why he bolted from La La Land and reportedly left an extra $30 million on the table he could have pocketed by signing with the Lakers instead of the Rockets.

Saying that the lure of a larger market like Los Angeles left him coveting the lure of the bright lights of the big city when he was a member of the Orlando Magic, Howard claims to have learned his lesson that bigger isn’t necessarily better.

“Especially in this day and age, it’s not all about where you play,” Howard said. “And that was a good lesson. Unfortunately, I had to learn that lesson in front of the whole world, and the whole world sees your flaws and sees your mistakes and they judge you for it.”

And when decision time came and he had to make the call as to where he would spend the next few years of his career, he relied upon some advice Alfred gave Batman/Bruce Wayne in the “The Dark Knight Rises.”

“I actually wrote (them) down and can tell it to you — it’s from Batman,” said Howard. “Batman and Alfred were having a discussion (in the 2012 Batman movie The Dark Knight Rises), and Batman didn’t like what was going on and he felt like the best thing he could do was just hide.

“Alfred told him, ‘You have to endure it. You have to take it. People will hate you for it, but that’s the point of being a legend. You can be that outcast. You can make the choice that no one else can make, and that’s the right choice.’ ”

And that’s how Howard arrived at his decision.

“I kind of took that with me in this situation in L.A.,” Howard said. “It was hard, something that most people wouldn’t have done, because they’re looking at the whole situation and people are going to think that I’m running (from the pressure), and people are going to think this or that.

“But I’m like, ‘Man, I want to be this legend, I want to be at the top. So I have to endure all that hate, all that criticism. I have to take it, and that’s what’s going to make me the person and the player I am.’ ”

While it will take some time to determine whether or not Howard made the right decision in free agency, one thing is for certain. If he starts quoting lines from films based upon characters from the Marvel Universe like Iron Man, Spider-Man or Captain America, his new moniker should be “Comic Book Guy.” Which of course would be the “Worst. Nickname. Ever.”