Dwight Howard is fully awake, the Dwightmare is over. But everyone will bring it back up leading into Howard's first game against the Orlando Magic since the blockbuster trade that sent him to the Los Angeles Lakers transpired during the summer.
"I've been having a lot of fun since I've been here," Howard said on insidesocal.com. "I'm happy I'm here."
Howard will face his old team, see his old colors for the first time as an opposing player on Sunday. He still has fond memories of the city and the fans of Orlando but does not regret ending up in L.A.
"When you get traded or ask for a trade from a team, it has nothing to do with a city or the fanbase," Howard said. "It's a business decision. Yeah, it may affect people because that's their team that they love and they want to see their team do good, but at the end of the day we only get one shot at this and I have to do what I believe is going to be best for me."
The transition has not been seamless. A coaching change, a slow start and Howard still dealing with the ill effects from back surgery have made things difficult. But as a whole, Howard is enjoying life in Lakerland. A land that counts championships and nothing else, somewhere Howard always wanted to be.
Within that place, Howard shares the load. No longer required to dominate every single game, he is averaging only 18.6 points and 11.1 rebounds, his lowest numbers since his 2009-10 and rookie seasons, respectively. But having teammates like Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Metta World Peace will do that to a star. Steve Nash will add to the break-up of responsibility when he returns as well.
But it will all be worth it if it means playing for a championship.
Howard likes the direction the team is headed and is having a lot of fun, even through the tough losses the Lakers have endured in the early part of the season. He's ready to keep learning and growing with his teammates.
The Magic will come to L.A. with only five players remaining from the team Howard left in Jameer Nelson, J.J. Redick, Glen Davis, Hedo Turkoglu and Ish Smith.