Dwight Howard appeared poised to be the next great phenom in the NBA following the 2010-2011 season. He averaged 22 points per game and 14 rebounds per game. He was one of the most unstoppable players in the league, putting up huge numbers for the Orlando Magic. He was the main man in Orlando and ran the show. He even took the Magic to the finals in 2009.
Flash Forward to 2012 and Howard teams with Kobe Bryant where he is supposed to bring more championships to Los Angeles. That was an experiment gone terribly wrong. Kobe and Dwight’s personalities could not have conflicted more. Dwight’s playful style was okay when he was the man in Orlando, but it didn’t fly with veteran Bryant.
It was apparent after Howard left after one year and elbowed Kobe Bryant in a game. He was recorded by the cameras saying, “it wasn’t intentional” and Bryant was recorded responding, “I know it wasn’t, because you’re a B*tch A** N***A”. It was rumored Bryant ran Howard out of Los Angeles and Kobe took some flack for it. Was that really the case, though?
Howard joined Houston to team with James Harden and form a 1-2 punch that could potentially compete in a strong NBA Western Conference. It’s rumored Howard was asked to play in a pick and roll offense with Harden and was very defiant of the move. So, if that’s true, he had the chance to play in the pick and roll with one of the best of all time yet wouldn’t do it for the sake of his own stats. Add this defiance with missing around 30 games due to injury and it’s clear Houston wasn’t right for Howard.
The right place for Howard could be his hometown Atlanta, right? Howard signed a three-year, $70 million contract with the Hawks in 2016. He was supposed to replace Al Horford who signed with the Boston Celtics. Something just didn’t click in Atlanta for Howard. He averaged 13 points per game and struggled in the first round of the playoffs against the Wizards. If that wasn’t evident enough it wasn’t a good fit, the Hawks dealt Howard to the Charlotte Hornets for Marco Belinelli and Miles Plumlee.
It was reported by theScore NBA that, “Some Hawks reacted to Howard’s trade by screaming jubilation.”
Howard did play a little better in Charlotte this past year. He averaged 16 points per game but couldn’t manage to get them to the playoffs alongside Kemba Walker. It seemed like he’d finally found his best fit with Walker and the Hornets since Orlando, until June 20th
Howard was dealt to the Brooklyn Nets for Timofey Mozgov and two second-round picks. This will clear cap space after next season for the Nets to sign two max free agents. It was reported by Howard Beck that, “The Hornets’ locker room did not like Dwight Howard, guys were just sick and tired of his act.”
So, was it Kobe? Harden? The Hawks? The Hornets? Or was it Dwight?