Dwight Howard Rumors

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#12
Dwight Howard
Dwight Howard
Position: C
Born: 12/08/85
Height: 6-11 / 2.11
Weight:266 lbs. / 120.7 kg.
Salary: $23,500,000
Today, Superman is 31, on the back end of what was supposed to be his prime. Never married, he has five children by five women. He has lost millions of dollars to friends and family. He has at times been estranged from his parents and spurned by his costars. His endorsement portfolio, once brimming with Gatorade and Vitamin Water, McDonald’s and Adidas, Kia and T-Mobile, is down to a sneaker deal with the Chinese sportswear company Peak. He checked in last winter with 151,000 All-Star votes—11,000 fewer than Ersan Ilyasova. Next week Howard will go to training camp with the Hornets, his fifth team in seven seasons, who acquired him over the summer for backups Miles Plumlee and Marco Belinelli.
His first child, Braylon Howard, was born in 2007. “I was ashamed because I’d talked so much about being a Christian, professed my faith to the whole world, and here I was with a baby out of wedlock,” Howard says. “My parents judged me. A lot of people judged me. I felt like I shouldn’t even be out in public because everyone looked at me as a hypocrite.” The church, forever his haven, brought more anxiety than solace. He would take girlfriends to Sunday services and listen for whispers. Why is he here? Why is he bringing her here? The boy who started Top Flight was gone, left to adopt a far different identity. “I felt like I didn’t need my relationship with God anymore,” Howard says, “and that caused a lot of pain.”
“I lost confidence in who I am as a player,” he recalls. “I’d hear people say, ‘You should play more like Shaq,’ so I tried to bully guys. But that didn’t work because I’m not as big as Shaq. Then I’d hear people say, ‘You smile too much, you should be more like Kobe,’ so I tried to put on a mean face and play mad. But I wound up getting all these stupid techs and flagrant fouls.” He even threw on a headband and kneepads, like Wilt Chamberlain, masquerading as any great Laker except Dwight Howard. He grew anxious enough that he occasionally called friends at halftime and asked what they thought of his performance.
It’s no surprise he clashed with Bryant, whose persona is famously confrontational, but in Houston he also engaged in a cold war with the mild-mannered James Harden. “James is not the kind of guy who is going to say, ‘Yo, man, you got a problem?’ and I’m not either,” Howard says. “When I don’t like what’s going on, I tend to shut down, put my headphones on and ignore everything. I don’t talk about things. That happened to me in L.A. It happened to me again in Houston. I should have communicated better.” One Rockets official called a meeting with Howard and Harden that felt more like an intervention. Harden voiced what he wanted from Howard, namely stronger screens and tougher rim protection, but Howard didn’t express much in response. The freeze deepened.
Storyline: Howard-Harden Dynamic