New Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard admitted Thursday his strong desire to be traded from the Orlando Magic to the Brooklyn Nets earlier this offseason, according to ESPN.com.
"I did want to go to Brooklyn. That's a place where I told the Magic that I really wanted to go," Howard, who was ultimately dealt to the Los Angeles Lakers, told Stephen A. Smith and Ryan Ruocco on ESPN NewYork 98.7 FM. "[But] I was traded to the Lakers, and I think it was a blessing in disguise.
"... I think there's a reason why everything happened the way it happened. So far it's been an unbelievable experience for me. ... It's like a dream come true."
The three-time Defensive Player of the Year big man demanded a trade to the Nets at the beginning of the season, but after the two side couldn't reach a deal, Howard stunningly agreed to waive his early termination option and committed to stay with Orlando through the 2012-13 season.
However, that was short-lived.
After rumors of Howard getting then Orlando head coach Stan Van Gundy fired, Howard went down with a season ending back injury that caused him to miss the playoffs.
When Orlando was knocked out the playoffs, Howard then again began making demands to being traded to the Nets.
Trade talks between Brooklyn and Orlando intensified once again in the offseason, with Nets general manager Billy King offering Brook Lopez, MarShon Brooks, Kris Humphries and four first-round draft picks to the Magic in exchange for Howard. But after a deal could not be consummated, the Nets elected to move on from their all-in pursuit of Howard, and Orlando GM Rob Henningan orchestrated a four-team blockbuster trade to send him to Los Angeles.
"The whole year a lot of people were making up a lot of stories about 'this deal is getting close, that deal is getting close to being done,' or whatever, but none of those deals were ever close," Howard said.
"I thought I was going to get traded at the beginning of the year, actually, that's when I asked for it. But everything happened for a reason. I had to go through last year to get to where I'm at today. It's made me a stronger and better person for it. I had to go through the hell and the stormy forecast to come out to a place like this ... and I'm thankful for it."
The whole ordeal left Howard being heavily criticized for seemingly changing his mind in the attempt to try to please everyone but himself.
"I think a lot of it was people just felt like I was going back and forth with the whole thing," Howard said. "But the business side, people don't understand, when you're doing business you have to be a shark. You have to demand things. If you don't, people will run over you, and that was a lesson that I learned.
"... At the end of the day, you can't please everybody. There's gonna be people happy about me staying, there's gonna be people happy about me leaving. ... I'm over that now. I can't control the way how people feel about me."
Howard now moves on with his new role on the Lakers roster. Teamed up with Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Pau Gasol and Metta World Peace, Howard is now is on a quest to win his first NBA championship.