The 34-year-old, who was a member of the Magic at the time, told Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix he's using the experience as motivation for his current playoff run with the Lakers.
"It never leaves my mind," Howard said. "I had a chance to get there once. I always promised myself, if I had a chance to get back there, I would give my teammates everything that I've got."
Howard and the Magic eliminated the defending champion Boston Celtics and the LeBron James-led Cleveland Cavaliers to reach the 2009 NBA Finals, which they lost to the Lakers in five games. Howard averaged 15.4 points and 15.2 rebounds in the series.
The current Lakers squad is two wins from advancing to the NBA Finals after taking a 2-0 series lead over the Denver Nuggets on Sunday.