Dwight Howard Playing Through Pain and Criticism with the Los Angeles Lakers

Dwight Howard is not the villain he is often made out to be. 

He just hasn't been Superman. 

Howard has been playing with a tear in his cape since coming to Los Angeles, clearly limited following offseason back surgery. Playing through pain in his first season with the Lakers, the widespread criticism of the superstar center has been largely undeserved.   


Surgery secret

Howard hasn’t shared everything about his back injury.

“Have you seen the picture of that thing that came out of his back?” asked Metta World Peace, his Lakers’ teammate. “Have you ever seen the picture?”

World Peace's words never rang so true. The biggest character in the Lakers’ cast of personalities came to Howard’s defense in an interview before the team's most recent ache—a Monday night loss to the Golden State Warriors.

“Ask him to show you the picture,” World Peace said.

World Peace came across like a school kid who just wanted to share something gross, but he happened to stick up for a friend in doing so.

The opportunity to see the photo came following the game, as Howard stood at his locker before the horde of media collapsed beneath him with cameras.

“What picture? Oh. Yeah you can see it,” Howard said.

I asked if he could send it to me, but he declined, clearly trying to avoid adding to the media storm that has surrounded his season in L.A. 

“Here, I’ll show it to you though,” he said after thumbing through some photos on his iPhone.

And there it was. Disgusting. It looked like an elongated piece of chicken fat, a yellowish-white mass, laid out next to next to a ruler measuring at approximately five-and-a-half inches.

“Yeah, that was the part on my ...

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