Dwight Howard Is Still Fighting For His Damn Respect | Says He Was Better In His Prime Than Nikola Jokić, But The 2023 Finals MVP Is “Getting Way More Opportunities”

Dwight Howard is one of the most dominant players of his era and that’s a common opinion that everyone can agree on. But what’s not so much of a common opinion is that Howard is a better all-time player than Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokić.

Is Dwight Howard Better Than Joker?

That opinion is what D12 is pushing in the media’s face. He’s trying to change the narrative. Howard, who was also a NBA 75 snub, believes that he was a more dominant and impactful player than Jokić when adjusting for the type of playing style that was popular during his prime years.

Interviewed recently by Complex writer Zion Olojed, Howard acknowledged that many of today’s fans would disagree with the 2004 No. 1 draft pick’s contention that he was better during his prime than Jokić is. But Howard felt his numbers and stats were more impressive, given the fact that the three-ball wasn’t a part of his arsenal and that his offense normally came as a byproduct of others giving him the ball when he was in position to score, versus Jokić being the team’s main playmaker and having the ball in his hands the majority of the time.

“Obviously, people going to say Jokić can score. He got all those offensive skills,” Howard said. “But at the same time, I was getting 38 and 20, 45-18, 19, 20, and I’m doing all this with twos. No threes. All twos. I’m doing this with lobs. I’m not getting a lot of post-up attempts like Jokić. He’s getting way more opportunities.”

Howard Not Knocking Joker, Just Stating Facts

Howard further inserted that he doesn’t want people to take what he’s saying the wrong way and that he just understands how dominant he was and that he has supreme confidence in himself.

“I don’t want people to think that I’m trying to hate even comparing, but I’m going to take myself. I know how dominant I was and I know what I could do with my skills.” Howard said.

The argument here is more of an era argument, where Howard’s dominance extended from the mid-2000s to the early 2010s, when being a dominant interior force and having a physical game helped you stand out. 

In today’s NBA outside shooting plays a larger role, and having a player that can literally do it all for you is where the money is at. It’s similar to the Jordan and LeBron debate, where people try to compare greatness between two different styles of players in two different time periods. 

Of course, Jokić is a two-time MVP and now has a championship and a finals MVP, and has accomplished all of this after being drafted in the second round. Meanwhile, Howard has a handful of awardsm including three Defensive Player of the Year awards, was an NBA dunk champ and is an NBA champion as well. He’s currently an ambassador for NBA basketball, playing pro ball in Taiwan, but he’s still catching strays from “elite” NBA players.

Dwight’s assertion that in his prime would be better than Jokić is is based on the amount of confidence Howard has in himself. This same confidence has the Taoyuan big man still feeling that he could help anywhere from 15 to 20 teams in the NBA right now, and he even went as far as thinking that he could’ve ended up on the Brooklyn Nets. 

Dwight Howard last played in the NBA with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2021-2022 and averaged 6.2 ppg, and 5.9 rpg, which are decent stats considering he only averaged 16 minutes per game in a reserve role. So his claims that he could still be a productive asset for an NBA team right now are not far off for the 37-year-old future Hall of Famer.

Unfortunately, sometimes the narratives are undefeated no matter how much you disagree with them, and in the eyes of NBA fans Joker is already considered a significantly better player than Howard ever was.

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