Dwight Howard has an appointment with the Orlando Magic fans tonight.
The Lakers play Howard's former team in Orlando at 7:00 p.m. ET and the buildup to his return to the city is a test for him.
Will he be able to succeed on the court with the media and fan maelstrom around him?
He's a complicated dude this Dwight Howard.
We've learned that he had a recent revelation about what it will take for him to succeed playing next to Kobe Bryant in Los Angeles.
ESPN LA got this quote: "It's going to make me a better man and a better player from watching Kobe."But you look at a guy like Kobe and he doesn't care about nothing but going out there and playing hard. That's a lesson a lot of us have to learn -- especially young guys." Howard said.recently.
Has he consumed enough of the Vino for it to make a difference tonight?
Kobe's advice to him was to have a big night and give the crowd more reason to boo. It's what Bryant did in Philadelphia, the town that knew him as a high school hoops phenom.
That's a whole hell of a lot of Vino right there.
Desperately wanting to be liked led to his flip-flops about staying in Orlando. It won him nothing but a rebuke.
In Los Angeles he was heralded as the "next big thing", even by Lakers management. Remember Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak's statement before the NBA trading deadline, trying to assure his star of the team's loyalty?
Angelenos couldn't compute the happy, smiling, "I love LA" Dwight with the hesitant, vaguely passive-aggressive, flip-flopping Dwight.
"Me and coach, we talked about that. I just can't let my frustrations get to the point where I'll say anything."
Now fans have learned he's been keeping his insecurities bottled up and speaking about his inner turmoil when he should have shut up.
Will any of this make a difference on the court tonight?
We know Kobe will feed the big man for easy shots down low, but can Dwight Howard loosen up enough to understand that he can't make Orlando fans happy now that he wears the purple and gold?