"Don't worry, Lakers fans! When it's time to dominate, the Lakers gon' be there!"
The 36-year-old also wants fans to remember this is an entirely different squad compared to last year ... and that it will take some time for everyone to get on the same page.
"This is a brand new team than it was in 2020. All of us are really trying to learn how to play together and get our games going."
"It's not about how you start, it's how you finish!"
As they say, patience is a virtue -- the Lakers aren't in terrible shape and still have a few months to turn things around ... that is, as long as COVID doesn't halt the season like it did with the NHL.
Howard -- who just got out of COVID protocol -- hopes that doesn't happen ... saying "I'm not worried about it. But, anything can happen. Everything is about safety right now."
"I think if you got your immune system right, then you'd be good to go. I'm not really concerned about it."
Playoffs start in April ... and that's when we'll see if Dwight's right.