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Dwight Howard opens up about return to Lakers, Shaq-Kobe drama

Dwight Howard will soon begin his second stint with the Los Angeles Lakers in earnest, a development that has had no shortage of detractors. The veteran center holds no ill will toward his many critics, however, even when those naysayers are two the Lakers’ biggest legends in franchise history.

After being waived by the Memphis Grizzlies in late August, Howard signed with the Lakers after the team expressed interest in bringing him in. On Wednesday, Howard said his return to L.A. to play for the Lakers was a “very big blessing,” according to Ryan Ward of Clutch Points.

Howard’s first stint with the Lakers could not have gone worse, and the team’s fans unsurprisingly are viewing his return with skepticism, if not derision, though he does have one high-profile backer. Howard insists he harbors no bitterness toward any fans who still carry a grudge against him.

“I never had any ill will to the fans here in L.A.,” Howard said. “I love this city. I love playing in L.A.”

Amid the Howard-Lakers reunion, Shaquille O’Neal, a longtime foil for Howard, took a potshot at the veteran on Twitter, and it came as he and Kobe Bryant squashed a perceived beef on social media.

Howard previously downplayed the shade from the two Lakers legends, and his comments Wednesday reinforced his position on the drama.

“Shaq and Kobe are some of the greatest players to ever play the game of basketball,” Howard said. “I have nothing but love and respect for those guys.”

Howard arguably had little choice but to take the high road when it came to reacting to the Shaq-Kobe situation, and it’s becoming clearer and clearer that the onetime superstar will do whatever it takes to avoid rocking the boat in L.A. this coming season.