Heading into the upcoming season, Washington Wizards center Dwight Howard finds himself in a situation he probably never thought he would have eight years ago. He is playing on his fourth NBA team within the past three seasons, and his reputation among fans and people in NBA circles has taken a hit.
After signing with the Wizards and getting another proverbial breath of fresh air, he has an opportunity to put everything behind him to bed and create a new narrative about himself. With that being said, here are three goals for Howard for the upcoming season:
Be a Positive Locker Room Presence
Dwight has been seen as a “big fish” when he signs with new teams and a piece to a potential championship-winning puzzle. His personality and freakish athleticism have made him a valued piece on the market every time he’s available. There seems to be one consistent problem with this notion though, he isn’t that guy anymore.
After hurting his back in 2011, coming back early for the Lakers after being traded there and tearing his labrum while also playing through that injury he’s lost a step. He already wasn’t the most polished guy in the post as is and never has been a decent free throw shooter, but the worst part about it all is he still believes he still is the guy Howard was pre-back injury and he is not that.
The past two seasons reports have come out from teammates on both the Hawks and the Hornets that he rubbed guys the wrong way in the locker room, and just two seasons ago then Atlanta Hawks guard Dennis Schroeder came out and flat out said, “Dwight only plays hard against his former teams.” Insinuating that on a nightly basis Howard doesn’t bring it on both sides of the ball.
If that wasn’t enough, wants Dwight was traded to the Brooklyn Nets just this offseason, reports came out that said Hornets players were “sick and tired of his act”. It’s safe to say Howard’s reputation around the league not only amongst fans and media’s but also player’s is cracked as well.
Washington has their two stars in John Wall, and Bradley Beal and both players are in the prime of their NBA careers. If Dwight can go there and just blend in and possibly become a good piece to a championship puzzle, it will go a long way about how he is viewed in the league.
Next Up: Goal 2