Dwight Howard was officially introduced as a Hawk early Wednesday afternoon.
The Atlanta-native has now come home after spending his entire career away, most recently on a three-year stint with the Houston Rockets.
Howard became emotional during the press conference and began to cry when talking about playing in his hometown. According to Fox Sports Southeast, Howard said, “This is a real new beginning for me, and I’m happy to share it with my loved ones.”
After wiping away the tears, Howard regained his composure and joked about the inevitable barrage of internet memes, a la Michael Jordan.
Howard wasn’t the only Hawk who had trouble holding back tears during the press conference.
Kent Bazemore also became a bit emotional after it was officially announced that he would re-sign with the Hawks on a four year, $70 million deal.
In an interview Tuesday with ESPN’s Marc Stein, Howard went more in-depth with the importance of this new beginning, even mentioning that it pisses him off to be called a “cancer” to his teams.
Speaking of his rocky last few years in Los Angeles and Houston, Howard said, “I want to change from where I was at in my career and try to make the latter part of my career greater than the first part.”
Howard inked the contract early Wednesday morning that’s reportedly worth a guaranteed $70.5 million for three years, with the rest of the contract remaining undisclosed.