Mike Bresnahan of the LA Times wrote:
Dwight Howard imitated Kobe Bryant's monotone way of answering reporters' questions, resting his head on his hand and looking as bored as possible.
Yep, he's feeling better.
Howard will probably make his Lakers debut Sunday in an exhibition game against the Sacramento Kings at Staples Center.
He wouldn't confirm it, and neither would the Lakers, just in case Howard woke up with an unexpected ache in his back and had to postpone for another few days.
Barring anything like that, the six-time All-Star will take his spot at center for the 16-time NBA champions.
"It'll be the first time I've played basketball in a long time so I'll probably be a little emotional," he said Saturday. "I hope it doesn't happen that way, where I get out there and start crying."
The Lakers could use Howard, tears and everything. They're the only team without an exhibition victory. Their 0-5 mark is their worst start ever.
The starters have played sparingly, sure, but only Bryant looks to be in midseason form, averaging 20.3 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.5 points in 25.3 minutes.
"Can we play better? Yeah," Lakers Coach Mike Brown said. "Is there some concern? Not yet. After the preseason, talk to me if we had a chance to play all our guys."
Howard was relieved to finally come close to playing. He gets asked how he feels a trillion times a day by reporters, trainers, friends, family members and, of course, the general public.
"I get it on Twitter all day every day: 'When are you going to play?'" Howard said. "Then you've got the people that are upset that I'm already back from injury: 'Hey, was he really injured?' I don't think people understand how serious that injury is. Some people never recover. Some people never get back as quick as I have.
"People want to see the new-look Lakers. I understand it. My job isn't to come here and play in the preseason. I came here to help this team win, and we want to win in June."
Howard's back is no longer an issue. The greater unknown will be his conditioning. He steadily increased his workload at Lakers practices and was cleared a little more than a week ago for five-on-five scrimmages.
"We do a lot of work to try to get me in shape. We do a lot of running," said Howard, who has worked out continually with Lakers assistant coach Darvin Ham, a former NBA power forward. "Darvin does a lot of banging just so I can get used to the contact."
Howard averaged 20.6 points and 14.5 rebounds last season for Orlando.