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Hakeem Olajuwon believes Dwight Howard will re-sign with Lakers

February 08, 2013|By Eric Pincus
  • Hakeem Olajuwon, who scored 26,946 points in his career, ninth on the NBA's all-time scoring list, says he expects Dwight Howard to stay with the Lakers. "He loves L.A.," Olajuwon said.
Hakeem Olajuwon, who scored 26,946 points in his career, ninth on the NBA's… (Associated Press )

According to Chris Tomasson of Fox Sports Florida, Hall of Fame center Hakeem Olajuwon believes Dwight Howard will re-sign with the Lakers this summer.

Olajuwon said Howard, while still with the Orlando Magic in 2011, told him that he wanted to join the Lakers.

"I think so," said Olajuwon. "I think so, because that is where he wanted to go. He wanted to go there."

The former Rockets legend helped train Howard during the 2010 and 2011 off-seasons near Houston.  Howard spent last summer recovering from back surgery.

While Howard, in the final year of his contract, has yet to state his long-term intentions, Olajuwon said he planned to visit with the Lakers center during All-Star weekend in Houston.

"I want to catch up and see how he really feels," said Olajuwon of Howard and his concerns. "My first concept is to make him feel comfortable ... so that he can open up and I know what the issues are."

Meanwhile, the Lakers are hoping to get Howard back to full strength as he plays through a shoulder injury (labrum). Howard is also having nerve issues in his legs related to the back surgery he had in April.

"He loves L.A.," said Olajuwon, passing on Howard's sentiments from 2011.

It will be interesting to see if Olajuwon gets the same response when he reconnects with Howard next week in Houston.

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Dwight Howard returns, but Celtics blow out Lakers, 116-95

Email Eric Pincus at eric.pincus@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @EricPincus.

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