Dwight Howard has had his dominant moments since being drafted out of high school No. 1 overall in the 2004 NBA Draft. Never a great offensive player as far as skillset goes, his athleticism and physical strength more than compensated for whatever mechanical flaws he had.
The NBA Top 75 players of all-time was announced early in the season. The list caused a firestorm of opinion on social media because of several key admissions.
Howard was among those “greats” left off of the list and the L.A. Lakers veteran center is still heated and disappointed that he wasn’t chosen for the list, but he isn’t all that surprised.
He let his feelings be known after the announcement and again in a recent interview with The Athletic.
“People say, ‘He was only dominant for a couple years,” Howard lamented.” I didn’t know eight years of being an All Star …. was a couple years.”
“You hear people say, ‘He was only dominant for a couple of years.’ I didn’t know 8 years of being an All-Star, being dominant for 8 years, was a couple of years, I didn’t know winning 3 DPOTY awards in a row, is something that is considered not good.” Dwight Howard on NBA75 snub pic.twitter.com/DeCFCBOzBB
— NBA Retweet (@RTNBA) November 26, 2021
Howard’s Career Achievements Scream Top 75
Although he hasn’t made an NBA All-Star team since 2014, Howard’s list of accolades and achievements easily place him in any conversation as it pertains to all-time greats centers.
Howard, who began his career as the Orlando Magic’s franchise player has accumulated eight All-NBA selections, eight All-Star appearances, five rebounding titles, and two blocks titles. “Superman” had accomplished all this by age 28, with no college seasoning.
A career 16.1 points per game scorer over 18 seasons, Howard was even more lethal on the defensive end. The 35-year-old also boasts three NBA Defensive Player of the Year awards and is a five-time All-Defense selection.
Issa Mood pic.twitter.com/oGwyjjEU36
— Dwight Howard (@DwightHoward) June 8, 2018
Winning an NBA title with the Lakers in 2020 was thought to be the final piece to Howard’s legacy and soon to be Hall of Fame career.
Multiple Media Members And Former Players Say Howard Should’ve Been On The List
Sports media offered various reasons as to why Howard was snubbed from the Top 75 list.
Former player turned ESPN personality Richard Jefferson, a former player and now ESPN talking head, said he wasn’t going to discuss who should’ve been left off, but he felt Dwight Howard was “disrespected” and should be on the list.
FS1 personality Nick Wright also stated that he believes Howard’s résumé is borderline top 45, let alone top 75.
But Howard himself says he wasn’t even surprised he missed the cut.
“I knew I wasn’t going to be on it.”
Politics Played A Role In Howard Not Being On List
Dwight Howard on being left off NBA 75: "I knew I wasn't going to be on it." 👀
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) November 10, 2021
Dwight Howard use to be a fan favorite until his falling-out in Orlando. It was a parting of ways that left a bad taste in the mouths of some NBA fans and media, who didn’t like the way Howard handled the situation. From that point on, Howard became a villain of sorts throughout the league. As his skills deteriorated, his popularity plummeted.
When he ditched the Lakers for Houston after being unable to make it work with Kobe and Steve Nash, rumblings about Howard’s negative chemistry grew louder.
A guy once known for his infectious smile and Superman persona, the adoration for him changed and has never returned. The NBA’s recent underappreciation for traditional centers and what they contribute to the game has also dimmed his shine a bit and distorted his place among NBA greats.
Some say his act has worn on fans and media — from his constant goofiness and immaturity, to his perceived lack of passion for the game.
Others say he whines too much and his unwillingness to sacrifice for the betterment of the team was questioned at times.
The perception that Howard has underacheived in his career and wasted his talent by relying on his athleticism way too much also factored into his omission from the list.
Howard, with all of that being said, deserved the nod for this list, and it’s something that will undoubtedly haunt him, or at the very least, tick him off for years to come. There is a bright side. Howard will have a chance to address all of his slights during his Hall of Fame induction.
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