Dwight Howard had an acrimonious departure from the Orlando Magic. Naturally, with his debut as a visitor in Orlando nearing (March 12), shots are already being fired across the country.
"My team in Orlando was a team full of people who nobody wanted," said Howard in a video interview with CBS2/KCAL9. "I was the leader and I led that team with a smile on my face."
Howard and the Magic advanced to the NBA Finals in 2009, losing to Kobe Bryant and the Lakers.
Former teammate and current Magic point guard Jameer Nelson took exception to Howard's characterization.
"At some point, when are you gonna as a man, when are you going to take ownership and stay out of the media in a professional manner?" asked Nelson to the Orlando Sentinel on Wednesday.
"I would be less of a man to comment on certain things that people comment on about me and my teammates," Nelson continued. "We had a great run as a group, as core guys, and he was a part of it and for him to say things about anybody in a negative manner, that's up to him."
Howard was traded to the Lakers over the off-season after a lengthy process of uncertainty with the Magic.