Dwight Howard, easily one of the most dominant big men of his generation, has had a tough go of it since leaving the team that drafted him, the Orlando Magic, in 2012. Howard, the #1 pick in the 2009 draft, ended a tense relationship with the Magic and played for the Lakers and Rockets in the years since, but has yet to reach the level of dominance he once had as Orlando’s centerpiece.
In a transparent interview on Inside the NBA, Howard revealed that fixing his selfish tendencies and volatile relationships with teammates–Kobe Bryant and James Harden, namely–were his priority heading into the offseason, and he chose to take his new attitude to his hometown Hawks, who replaced their All-Star big man Al Horford with Howard this month. It’s a fresh start for Howard, who desperately needs one, and a chance to prove that he can once again be a franchise player. (The only other Hawks player that would have been worthy of the tag was Jeff Teague, who was traded to the Pacers earlier this summer.) It’s likely all these thoughts and emotions, in addition to the fact that he’ll now be representing his birthplace every day he shows up to work, that brought the big man to tears at his introductory press conference today, which you can watch above.