Where Will Dwight Howard Play Next Year? He Plans to Opt Out of Current Deal
Dwight Howard gets a bad rep in the NBA. He was recently on ‘Inside The NBA’ and joined the cast while Shaquille O’Neal was out. They were discussing the dramatic ending to Game 5 of the Spurs-Thunder series when Charles Barkley asked Howard about his reputation as a dis-likable player.
Barkley said that when he receives questions about Howard while traveling, he answers, “He’s a really nice guy, he’s a hell of a player, but for some reason people don’t like him.” Howard didn’t run or hide from the question and gave everyone in the league a lesson on how to deal with negative questioning.
“I think I was very likable in Orlando, and the way that situation ended, I think people thought as though I’m just the bad guy,” Howard ruminated. “I’m all about myself. I’m a diva. I’m stuck on being ‘Dwight Howard, this famous basketball player.'”
“So people say, ‘I don’t like this guy.’ And I hear that and it really hurts me because my heart and attitude toward this game have always been the same,” Howard added.
Dwight Howard is a nice guy who plays a position that is slowly going extinct. The best part about Howard’s interview is that, while it worked wonders for turning his image around, it didn’t come off as a PR move.
Dwight Howard’s Early Success
Dwight Howard skipped college and got drafted by the Magic with the first overall pick in 2004 out of High School. The first years of his career in Orlando were a massive success: five All-NBA First-Team nominations, three NBA
Defensive Player of the Year nods and he became the Magic’s all-time leading scorer. He was a beast on the court and happy off of it. He was a godsend for Orlando after Shaq and Penny Hardaway left the city.
After Orlando, he went to Hollywood. Many fans and NBA writers referred to Howard as being the center of the Lakers’ problems. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Dwight not re-signing with the Lakers was a reflection of the state of the team. Dwight Howard didn’t fit into any box in Los Angeles. He was sometimes brilliant, but he sometimes completely disappeared. Making it worse, Kobe Bryant wasn’t the easiest teammate to get along with.
Now in Houston, everyone is wondering what happened to the league’s best center? James Harden can be a diva at times. During the interview, Dwight Howard didn’t shy away when Barkley asked him about playing with James Harden:
“We need to put our egos to the side and we need each other to win.” At least Howard is admitting he can’t win alone — something Harden will not do.
What Could Happen This Summer?
Dwight Howard is expected to opt out of his four-year, $87.5 million contract in July. Some of the early suitors for his services include the Dallas Mavericks and New York Knicks.
Dallas could be a good fit for Howard, considering Dirk Nowitzki will be retiring soon. In addition, Howard could be a welcome addition to Phil Jackson’s triangle system in New York.
Howard may not be the league’s best center like he was when he hit the market in 2013, but he can still make an impact for a team willing to utilize him properly.
(Where Will Dwight Howard Play Next Year?)