Three-time NBA defensive player of the year Dwight Howard was one of 12 players ejected from a T1 league game between the Taoyuan Leopards and the TaiwanBeer HeroBears in Taiwan on Sunday, Feb. 19.
With less than a minute left in a game Leopards guard Chen Hsiao-jung elbowed HeroBears captain Chiang Yu-an in the face. The two then started punching each other.
Players and officials managed to separate the two briefly, but then HeroBears assistant coach Lin Chieh-ho ran onto the court and charged at Hsiao-jung, according to Taiwannews.com. The coach failed to connect with Hsiao-jung, who swung back before referees intervened.
Dwight Howard Was Playing Peacemaker?
Howard was ejected, but it seems he got caught up trying to play peacemaker in an untenable situation. He can be seen watching the brawl from the sidelines, and appeared to be deescalating the situation. The 2020 NBA champion with the Los Angeles Lakers was seen with his arms outstretched while talking with someone prior to his ejection.
The game was delayed for over 20 minutes as referees reviewed the footage and assessed penalties. In the end, 12 individuals were tossed from the game, including five HeroBears and seven Leopards.
The five members of the HeroBears team ejected included Chiang, Lin, Huang Chen, Liang Hao-zhen, and Tsao Xun-xiang. The seven ejected from the Leapords included Chen, Howard, Huang Yi-sheng, Tseng Pin-fu, Lin Yi-huei, Michael Efevberha and team trainer Dimitrios Jimmy Vidas.
Prior to his ejection, Howard scored 28 points, grabbed 14 rebounds, and dished out seven assists. In the end, his Leopards won the game 120-108.
Fights break out in international basketball leagues more than they do in the NBA. Many NBA players often say nobody is ever really trying to fight or wants to get fined for doing so.
Following the game, Howard complained that he was unfairly ejected. His contention was that he was just trying to stop the fight. He also felt that he was unfairly targeted by the officials during their review.
Dwight Howard To Participate In Three-Point Contest?
Earlier this week, Howard posted on his Instagram account that he would be participating in his first three-point contest as a part of the T1 League’s first All-Star Game.
“Wow I’m happy to be participating in my first 3 point contest guys ! I’m finally stepping out my comfort zone and doing what I know I could do despite what anyone has to say! Let me be Great”
Hoops legend and Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal, a vocal critic of Howard, has used various platforms to diss Howard and his performances in the T1 league.
“You should never be complimented for being a good father because that’s what you’re supposed to do, right?” Shaq said on “The Big Podcast.” “He’s supposed to have 30 points playing against dudes 5’8”. “. . . They have a losing record. . . Somebody sent me that they have a losing record. I ain’t losing to anybody in Taiwan, I’ll tell you that. How do you have a losing record in Taiwan? Come on now.”
Howard, an eight-time All-Star, eight-time All-NBA, six-time All-Defense, five-time rebounding champ, and two-time blocks champ signed with the Leopards in November following 18 NBA seasons.