Originally written on Sports-Glory  |  Last updated 11/19/14

Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard clarified his comments Wednesday made about his former team after former teammates Jameer Nelson, J.J. Redick and Rashard Lewis fired back. Howard told KCAL-TV in L.A. that “my team in Orlando was a team full of people who nobody wanted, and I was the leader and I led that team with a smile on my face.” Following the Lakers' 108-102 win over the New Orleans Hornets on Wednesday night, Howard clarified those comments to ESPNLosAngeles.com. "My statement was just to say that our team that I played with in Orlando, we were the underdogs," Howard said.  "Nobody really talked about our team. It was underrated. Everybody overlooked us for the whole time I was there in Orlando and I hated that. We all hated that. We thrived off that. My comments were never to say anything disrespectful to those guys. Those were my teammates for years. They helped me become the player that I am today and we all got to the Finals because of that. "I would never say anything disrespectful to those guys and I think a lot of people took that and ran with it, twisted it into a negative thing. I love those guys. We've had some great memories and we thrived off people saying that we weren't going to make it to the Finals, we weren't going to be a good team. That's what pushed us." His former teammates in Orlando were not to pleased with the big man. Nelson told the Orlando Sentinel that “At some point, when are you [Dwight] gonna as a man, when are you going to take ownership and stay out of the media in a professional manner?" Nelson said.   “I would be less of a man to comment on certain things that people comment on about me and my teammates. We had a great run as a group, as core guys, and he was a part of it (reaching the 2009 Finals) and for him to say things about anybody in a negative manner, that’s up to him. “That’s his opinion. If that’s how he feels, that’s how he feels.” "I'm not surprised by it," Redick told ESPNLosAngeles.com Wednesday evening. "I would be more surprised when Dwight starts taking responsibility. That would be the most negative thing I can say, but that's the truth. "You can't take all the credit and not accept any of the blame." "We helped Dwight become the player he was," Lewis, now a member of the Miami Heat told the Sentinel on Wednesday. "We made a good run. Hell, look at those (conference and division) banners hanging in the stands. They don't say Dwight Howard on them ..." Howard said people have just overreacted to his comments. "It was never intended to disrespect or downgrade any of those guys," he said. "I would always tell them I wouldn't trade them for the world. That's how I viewed it. For the most part, those guys know that. They know who I am and they probably just heard something and people twisted it and turned it in different ways. I'm not that kind of guy. I would never disrespect those guys. It just kind of got blown out of proportion." Howard said he has reached out to Nelson and Lewis and is "upset" by their reactions. "I know that we're going back to Orlando and they're trying to stir up as much stuff as they can as I head back there," Howard said about the Lakers' road game against the Magic on Tuesday. "But, I have nothing but love for that city. I have nothing but love for the fans that were there in Orlando. Nothing but love for all of my teammates that I played with and my whole statement, like I said, was based on everybody saying we were underrated. Nobody talked about us when we went to the Finals. It was all about Cleveland or whoever else, and it kind of pissed us off and we used that as motivation. Like I said, it was not anything to disrespect those guys."

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