Do you remember when Dwight Howard took the Orlando Magic to the NBA Finals in 2009?
Well, it’s been a long 8 years since then, and one hell of a journey for the big man.
After forcing his way off the Magic, Dwight shipped his was to the Los Angeles Lakers, where he quickly fell out with Kobe Bryant and underperformed for the whole season before blasting off to join the Houston Rockets in free-agency.
He very quickly overstayed his welcome there and decided to fly to the Atlanta Hawks (after opting out of his contract) for a season before he buzzed on over to the Charlotte Hornets (one season into a 3-year, $70.5 million deal), which apparently caused Hawks players to celebrate in the locker room…Dwight isn’t too popular these days it seems.
So, here we are, part 5 of Dwight’s journey, a big mans tale*.
Every move Howard has made, there have been promises of a rebirth in form, a promise of maturity and growth on the court. The reality? Dwight doesn’t seem to know who he is and what he can do, which is a big problem (especially when you have him on a $70 million contract).
Charlotte may be a chance at redemption, he’ll be coached by Steve Clifford, who coached him at Orlando and Los Angeles. Clifford will hopefully get the most out of Howard and get him to crass the glass game after game, and stop him from attempting mid-range bank shots.
The Hornets have moved away from Al Jefferson and a focus on post ups. So acquiring Howard is perfect for Charlotte as they are moving towards a fast, motion based offensive structure.
The big pressure on Howard will come from the fans, that contract and Cody Zeller, a player who has proved himself in this league as a reliable point scoring rebound. Howard needs to perform or he’ll loose his place in the squad, and potentially the NBA.