Charlotte Hornets Rumors
As much as anything, Howard craves acceptance, and that’s why his trade to Charlotte, to Clifford, has him believing all over again. “Cliff’s going to push me, but he’s not going to ever be one of those guys who I would say would break my spirit,” Howard told ESPN. “He really believes in me. Throughout all the mess that has happened the last couple of years, this is a great opportunity for me to prove to myself that I know exactly who I am — to just shut people’s mouths.”
As for the 3-pointers, Howard knows where Clifford stands on them. Charlotte has a playbook of ways to use Howard on offense, to get him the ball with actions once executed in Orlando. Charlotte will use his ability to pass, too. Nevertheless, there are no Howard 3-pointers written into Clifford’s playbook. This is classic Dwight Howard: an investment born of his best intentions, but ultimately counterproductive. These are private workouts, run by Howard’s own staff, and Clifford hadn’t made the seven-hour round trip to talk to Howard about 3-pointers.
Truth be told, no one is expecting dominance from Howard. Those days are gone. But Clifford still believes Howard can be the difference between the lottery and the playoffs. “I have always thought about that: All I have to do is win,” Howard said. “I thought the situation in Houston was going to be great. But that last year just wasn’t there. We started out super good here in Atlanta, and I thought, ‘This is it. It’s all about to change.’ And then, it didn’t.”