Dwight Howard was a risk when the Los Angeles Lakers signed him this summer. For a while now, Howard has been in decline and his first stint with the Lakers didn't end very well. Regardless, the Lakers decided to give Howard a chance which is something he appreciated immensely. To show how serious he was about the Lakers, Howard requested a non-guaranteed contract. Of course, this meant that Howard had to prove his worth before getting his money. Today is the deadline to waive players making non-guaranteed money and according to Dave McMenamin of ESPN, the Lakers have no plans to do that.

Howard has had a bit of a career resurgence this year and has been a key part of the Lakers' successful start to the season. Now that his contract is guaranteed, he will be making the veteran minimum of $2.56 million. After Sunday's Lakers game, Howard told McMenamin what the season has meant to him.

 

Katharine Lotze/Getty Images

“You got to be able to stand the rain,” Howard said. “That’s what makes us humans. That’s what makes us. The ability to go through tough times and not allow it to break our character. It’s hard to do. It’s hard to go through hell and be like, ‘OK, just smile it off.’ But you never know how close you are to a breakthrough if you just quit on yourself.”

If Howard continues his phenomenal play, there is no doubt the Lakers will be in a great position for a potential playoff run.