An 8-time NBA All Star, Dwight Howard has averaged 17.4 points and 12.6 rebounds during his NBA career.
The first pick in the 2004 NBA Draft by the Orlando Matg, Howard, an Olympic gold medalist made a trip to the 2009 NBA Finals where the Magic were defeated by a Kobe Bryant-led Los Angeles Lakers.
Now a member of the Washington Wizards, Howard, 33, is looking to return to next NBA season injury-free.
Million Dollar Question: Is he a Hall of Famer?
“I think I’ve done an excellent job of playing basketball my whole life,” Dwight Howard told me on the red carpet for the premiere of the Samuel Jackson-starred, Shaft film.
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“My resume is something that, you know, I don’t really have to speak for. I’m happy that I’ve had the opportunity to play basketball. So, I think I’ve done an excellent job of playing and I don’t know.”
If you’re tardy to the party: Howard is a five-time All-Defensive Team member, has won the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year award three times. He’s also an NBA Slam Dunk Contest winner.
Injuries just have been achilles heel.
Could you imagine a healthy Dwight Howard in today’s traditional center deficient NBA?
“Well, I mean, the game is different,” NBA insider, Chris Broussard told me on the Scoop B Radio Podcast.
“It’s darn near an entirely different game. You know, the three-point shot was not a big part of teams’ offenses. Scoring was much lower, the game was much slower, defense was much tougher. You could hand check, it was a lot more physical. When Jordan or anybody else drove to the lane, you could get hammered.”
Some consider the 90s to be the golden era of basektball. There’s an advantage to it, too!
“It was the greatest era of big men in NBA history,” Broussard told Scoop B Radio.
“Hakeem Olajuwon, Patrick Ewing, Shaquille O’Neal, David Robinson, Alonzo Mourning. I mean, think of Dwight Howard in his prime when he was clearly the best big man in the league. Dwight Howard was about as good as Alonzo Mourning. Alonzo was like the fifth best center in the league at that time and that’s what Dwight would have been.”
High praise for Howard, there!
“So you watch the highlights from back then of how packed in the paint was, how the game was played much closer to the basket, so it was, I mean, I’ve had former players tell me you can’t even, the age of comparing players is over because the game is so different,” Broussard told Scoop B Radio.
“You watch James Harden, what he’s doing, and he’s fantastic. But this is all about the three-point ball. There’s no way he’s putting up these numbers without the three-pointer.”
Last summer, the Washington Wizards signed him after he was traded from the Charlotte Hornets to the Brooklyn Nets before eventually being bought out.
When on the floor for the Wizards, he he was effective this season he averaged 12.8 points and 9.2 rebounds in 25.6 minutes per game.
“I am excited to get back to work next season,” Dwight Howard told me.
As for Howard in the Naismith Hall of Fame, it’s of interest to him.
“I mean it’s not up to me,” he said.
“But I think one day I’ll get the recongition that I deserve. Until then I’m going to continue to get better, continue to smile and contunue to enjoy life.”