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Ice Cube defends Dwight Howard: Lakers fans owe him a ‘clean slate’

There have been no shortage of detractors when it comes to the Los Angeles Lakers’ decision to bring in Dwight Howard, but one of the team’s biggest A-list backers are saying fans should give him a chance.

Lakers superfan and BIG3 founder Ice Cube recently went to bat for the much-maligned Howard, arguing that the aging superstar should focus on reclaiming the traits that made him a three-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year, five-time All-NBA first team and eight-time All-Star.

“I think Los Angeles should give Dwight a clean slate and let his game speak for itself,” Ice Cube said, per the Los Angeles Times. “If he can help, it’ll show and if he can’t, it’ll show. I would love for him to concentrate on what he does best — rebound, defense, blocked shots and lob dunks. If he can do that, Dwight will be all right. I’m not even going to think about the first go around. That’s in the past.”

Howard has been raked over the coals in recent weeks as the Lakers’ interest in acquiring him ultimately led to him coming aboard. Two of the organization’s biggest legends, Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal have been harsh in their treatment of Howard. The veteran big man attempted to remain above the fray, calling the barbs from the two icons “irrelevant.”

Howard is said to be in much better shape than he has been in previous seasons and appears intent on taking advantage of this latest opportunity to reestablish himself in the NBA as a quality player. Whether that comes to fruition remains to be seen, but it makes sense that a diehard Lakers fan like Ice Cube hopes things go well for Howard in his second stint in L.A.