Current NBA free agent Dwight Howard is serious about becoming a professional wrestler with the WWE. In fact Howard has made it clear that if he receives an offer from both an NBA team and the WWE, he will go with the WWE if the offer is better.
“Whatever opportunity is best,” said the three-time defensive player of the year.
Back in July, Howard attended the WWE tryout in Nashville. He cut a very entertaining promo, and we know he’s athletic enough. He’s been a slam dunk champion.
Triple H, the head of creative and chief content officer for WWE, said the ball is in Howard’s court regarding a pro wrestling future.
“The ball’s in his court,” Triple H said. “He came by our tryouts in Nashville, was incredibly entertaining, jumping in promos by himself and then with others — incredibly entertaining. So, when he says, ‘Hey, I want to give this a shot,’ he’s got my phone number. All he’s got to do is call me, and we’ll see what can happen.”
The big thing to note is Howard’s age. At 36 years old and with 18 seasons of NBA basketball on his body, a pro wrestling career might not be the best idea. Although former NFL tight end Rob Gronkowski has participated in the WWE since his retirement. But a few appearances is different than a full-time contract.
The WWE plays a trope of “good guy” and “bad guy” wrestlers. With his charisma Howard could play either role and do it pretty well.
“I would be both,” said Howard. “I could be the good guy sometimes and the bad guy sometimes.”
Howard played for the Los Angeles Lakers last season, his third stint with the club. He’s averaged just under seven points and seven rebounds per game over the past three seasons. He can still dunk, but his poor finishing has diminished his productivity. He doesn’t seem to be receiving a ton of offers as training camps begin this week.
Still, teams will have Howard’s number on speed dial, as injuries will occur and teams will find themselves in desperate need for NBA bodies. Of course teams would be better served looking at their G league rosters and young guys at the end of their bench.
Howard has shown the interest, and we know he’s an athlete and has charisma. Say what you want about pro wrestling, but you can’t just show up and hop in the squared circle. Howard will have to train and put in the work if he wants to be a pro wrestler.
In addition to the physical demands, he’ll also have to learn to act a bit, so he can sell the conflict, etc. Nobody will mistake a WWE production for fine acting, but there is a level of showmanship he’ll need. There’s no reason to think he can’t do it. But success is not a sure thing.
In his 18 seasons Howard is an NBA champion, eight-time All-NBA, eight-time All-Star, five-time All-Defense, five-time rebound leader, three-time DPOY, two-time blocks leader, and a slam dunk champion.
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