TooAthletic Takes

Another NBA offseason and the league has already seen Dwight Howard traded with expectations being that the 33-year-old will be released, making him a free agent.  Considering how much money Howard has made in his career (over $234 Million and counting) is it fair to say that his paychecks have not matched his production.  In simpler terms, is Dwight Howard an NBA bust?

If you liked rebounding and blocked shots ten years ago, then Dwight Howard was your man.  Assuming that the 6’ 11” Howard plays this season, he will be first among active players in blocked shots and total rebounds, and second among active players in defensive rebounds and rebounds per game.  Despite all those rebounds, Howard has only had one season where he averaged more than 21 points a game (2010-11/22.9 PPG) and one season when he led the league in field-goal percentage (2009-10, 61.2%).

Clearly Dwight Howard’s glory days were with the Orlando Magic for who he played 621 of his 1044 regular season games; and ever since leaving to the Houston Rockets, he has been a one-season wonder for four different teams, including his eight-game career in Washington before being traded to Memphis, who is expected to trade him again or buy him out of this year’s contract.

Has Dwight Howard ever been considered one of the best players in the league?  Well, he made eight straight All-Star games during his time in Orlando, but none since.  He only made the playoffs five times with the Magic and made only one NBA Finals appearance, a five-game dismissal at the hands of the Los Angeles Lakers.

I have looked high and low and can’t really find anything that justifies the salary or number of chances that Dwight Howard has received.  In an NBA game that is being played from beyond the three-point line, the fact that “multiple” teams are rumored to be showing interest in this player is confusing to me to say the least.  Are teams really holding on to the 16.6 points and 12.5 rebounds per game that Howard had two seasons ago in Charlotte before his back surgery?  Or it is the fact that he has lost 25 pounds and finally figured out how to be an athlete and not just a big body under the rim on a basketball court?

Dwight Howard recently said in an interview that, “I don’t have and ego – it’s dead.  It had to die for me to be who I am.”  I don’t know what Dwight Howard was or is suppose to be in the 2019-20 season.  All I know is that I have never thought of him as an elite player, nor was I ever upset that he was not on the team I was rooting for.

Congrats on finding yourself Dwight, maybe, if it is not too difficult for you, you can try to become a decent basketball player at some point in your career before you retire; if not, then don’t worry, we will remember you for what you were, being a bust of an overpaid fake superstar NBA player.


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