Dwight Howard says he’s motivated after last season, wants to bring title to Atlanta

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The Atlanta Hawks lost Al Horford at center and replaced him with Dwight Howard. Few see that as an upgrade.

Of course, Howard doesn’t see it that way. In an interview with the Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Howard talked about taking the Hawks back closer to the 60-win, conference finals team of a couple of years ago.

“I want to do whatever I can to bring a championship home,” Howard said Tuesday from Philips Arena while attending a Dream game. “I know it’s not going to be easy. I’ve worked extremely hard this summer, every summer. I’m very motivated. I’m really (ticked) off about last season. I’m looking forward to coming back with a different mentality.”

Why was Howard angry last season?

“Losing,” he said. “A lot of people see me with smiles and all that stuff and think I don’t care but I hate losing. I hate seeing other people stand up on the podium and hold up that trophy and I worked so hard for it. That’s the main thing.”

I don’t doubt Howard means that. Of course, he said something similar at every stop on the tour of his career, and let’s just say things have not lived up to the hype.

As always with Howard there are two key questions. First, can he stay healthy? Second, will he buy into the Hawks’ team first concept? Will Howard focus on defense and rebounding, then willingly move the ball on offense rather than demand a bunch of post touches that drag down the Hawks’ ball movement? He’s saying the right things, but he’s said that before.