DWIGHT DAVID HOWARD (born December 8, 1985) is an American
professional basketball player for the
Charlotte Hornets of the
National Basketball Association (NBA). Howard, who plays center , had
an outstanding high school career at Southwest Atlanta Christian
Academy . He chose to forgo college and entered the 2004
NBA draft ,
and was selected first overall by the
Orlando Magic . An eight-time
All-Star , eight-time
All-NBA team selection, five-time All-Defensive
member, and three-time Defensive Player of the Year , Howard has been
ranked consistently as one of the best in the league in rebounds ,
blocks , field goal percentage and free throw attempts, and has set
numerous franchise and league records. He led the Magic to three
division titles and one conference title, and he was the winner of the
NBA Slam Dunk Contest . In the
2008 Olympics , he was the
starting center for Team USA , which went on to win the gold medal. He
was traded to the
Los Angeles Lakers
Los Angeles Lakers in 2012, and signed with the
Rockets in 2013.
* 1 Early life
* 2 Professional career
Orlando Magic (2004–2012)
* 2.1.1 Early years (2004–2007)
* 2.1.2 Leader of consecutive division champions (2007–2010)
* 2.1.3 Frustration (2010–2012)
Los Angeles Lakers
Los Angeles Lakers (2012–2013)
Houston Rockets (2013–2016)
Atlanta Hawks (2016–2017)
Charlotte Hornets (2017–present)
* 3 Honors, awards and achievements
* 4 NBA career statistics
* 4.1 Regular season
* 4.2 Playoffs
* 5 United States national team
* 6 Player profile
* 7 Life outside of basketball
* 7.1 Public image
* 7.2 Personal life
* 8 See also
* 9 Notes
* 10 References
* 11 External links
Howard was born in Atlanta, to Dwight Sr. and Sheryl Howard, and into
a family with strong athletic connections. His father is a Georgia
State Trooper and serves as Athletic Director of Southwest Atlanta
Christian Academy , a private academy with one of the best high school
basketball programs in the country, while his mother played on the
inaugural women's basketball team at
Morris Brown College . Howard's
mother had seven miscarriages before he was born. A devout Christian
since his youth, Howard became serious about basketball around the age
of nine; when in the eighth grade, he resolved to be selected as the
number one pick in the
NBA Draft one day. Despite his large frame,
Howard was quick and versatile enough to play the guard position . He
elected to attend
Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy for high school,
and in his four years he played mostly as power forward , averaging
16.6 points per game (ppg), 13.4 rebounds per game (rpg) and 6.3
blocks per game in 129 appearances. As a senior, Howard led his team
to the 2004 state title. He averaged 25 points , 18 rebounds , 8.1
blocks and 3.5 assists per game. That same year, Howard was widely
recognized as the best American high school basketball player, and he
was awarded the
Naismith Prep Player of the Year Award , the Morgan
Wootten High School Player of the Year Award, Gatorade National Player
of the Year and the McDonald's National High School Player of the Year
honor. He was also co-MVP (with
J. R. Smith ) of the McDonald\'s High
School All-American Game that year. On January 31, 2012, Howard was
also honored as one of the 35 greatest McDonald\'s All-Americans .
ORLANDO MAGIC (2004–2012)
Early Years (2004–2007)
Howard at the free throw line
Following his high school successes, Howard chose to forego college
and declared for the 2004
NBA draft —a decision partly inspired by
Kevin Garnett who had done the same in 1995—where the
Orlando Magic selected him first overall over
UConn junior Emeka
Okafor . He took the number 12 for his jersey, in part because it
was the reverse of Garnett's 21 when he played for Minnesota . Howard
joined a depleted Magic squad that had finished with only 21 victories
the previous season; further, the club had just lost perennial NBA
Tracy McGrady . Howard, however, made an immediate impact.
He finished his rookie season with an average of 12.0 ppg and 10.0
rpg, setting several NBA records in the process. He became the
youngest player in NBA history to average a double double in the
regular season. He also became the youngest player in NBA history to
average at least 10 rebounds in a season and youngest NBA player ever
to record at least 20 rebounds in a game. Howard's importance to the
Magic was highlighted when he became the first player in NBA history
directly out of high school to start all 82 games during his rookie
season. For his efforts, he was selected to play in the 2005 NBA
Rookie Challenge, and was unanimously selected to the All-Rookie Team
. He also finished third to fellow center
Emeka Okafor of the
Charlotte Bobcats and guard
Ben Gordon of the
Chicago Bulls for the
Rookie of the Year award. Howard with Magic teammate Jameer
Howard reported to camp for his second NBA season having added 20
pounds of muscle during the off-season. Orlando coach Brian Hill
—responsible for grooming former Magic superstar Shaquille O\'Neal
—decided that Howard should be converted into a full-fledged center.
Hill identified two areas where Howard needed to improve: his post-up
game, and his defense. He exerted extra pressure on Howard, saying
that the Magic would need him to emerge as a force in the middle
before the team had a chance at the playoffs . Even though the big
man played tentatively at times, he was able to build on his strong
rookie year with an impressive sophomore season. On November 15, 2005,
in a home game against the
Charlotte Bobcats , Howard scored 21 points
and 20 rebounds, becoming the youngest player ever to score 20 or more
points and gather 20 or more rebounds in the same game. He was
selected to play on the Sophomore Team in the 2006 Rookie Challenge
during the All-Star break , and on April 15, 2006, he recorded a
career-high 26 rebounds against the
Philadelphia 76ers ; his 28 points
in that game also brought him close to an NBA rarity, a 30–30 game.
Overall, he averaged 15.8 points and 12.5 rebounds per game, ranking
second in the NBA in rebounds per game, offensive rebounds, and double
doubles; and sixth in field goal percentage . Despite Howard's
improvement, the Magic finished the season with a 36–46 win-loss
record and failed to qualify for the playoffs for the second
consecutive season since Howard's arrival.
Howard took another step forward as the franchise player for Orlando
in the 2006–07 season , and for the third consecutive season he
played in all 82 regular season games. On February 1, 2007, he
received his first
NBA All-Star selection as a reserve on the Eastern
Conference squad for the 2007
NBA All-Star Game . Howard finished the
game with 20 points and 12 rebounds. Less than a week later, he
recorded a career-high 32 points against the
Toronto Raptors . A
highlight was his game-winning alley-oop off an inbound pass at the
buzzer against the
San Antonio Spurs at
Amway Arena on February 9. As
the push for playoff spots intensified, Howard was instrumental,
recording another career-high 35 points against the Philadelphia 76ers
on April 14, 2007. Under his leadership, the Magic qualified for the
NBA Playoffs for the first time since 2003 as the number eight
seed in the Eastern Conference. However, the Magic were swept by the
eventual Eastern Conference finalist
Detroit Pistons in the first
round. Howard averaged 17.6 points and 12.3 rebounds per game, and
finished first in the NBA in total rebounds, second in field goal
percentage, and ninth in blocks. He was further recognized as one of
the best players in the league when he was named to the
Team at the end of the 2006–07 campaign.
Leader Of Consecutive Division Champions (2007–2010)
Howard contests a shot by
Kobe Bryant of the
Los Angeles Lakers
Los Angeles Lakers
Howard continued posting impressive numbers in the 2007–08 season ;
with free agent
Rashard Lewis added to the ranks alongside Hedo
Türkoğlu to provide an extra offensive spark, this was the Magic's
best season yet. Howard's strong and consistent play ensured that he
was named as a starter for the Eastern Conference All-Star team, and
by the time the mid-season break arrived, he was leading the league in
double doubles (he concluded the season with a league-high 69) and had
recorded 20 points and 20 rebounds in a game on five occasions (eight
by the season's end). On February 16, 2008, he won the 2008 NBA Slam
Dunk Contest by receiving 78% of the fan's votes via text messaging or
online voting; in that contest, he performed a series of innovative
dunks said to have rejuvenated the contest, including donning a
Superman cape for one of the dunks. Howard led the Magic to their
first division title in 12 years and to the third seed for the 2008
NBA Playoffs , and in the first-round match-up against the Toronto
Raptors, Howard's dominance (three 20 point/20 rebound games) and
Jameer Nelson 's strong play ensured that Orlando
prevailed over five games. Howard's series total of 91 rebounds was
also greater than the total rebounds collected by the entire Toronto
frontcourt . In the next round against the Pistons, the Magic lost
the first two road games before Howard's 20 point/12 rebound
performance in Game 3 salvaged a home win. In that same week, the
center was named to the
All-NBA First Team
All-NBA First Team for the first time, and
NBA All-Defensive Second Team . Detroit played
without their star point guard
Chauncey Billups for Games 4 and 5, but
Orlando was unable to capitalize on that and lost the series 4–1 to
the veteran playoffs team.
The 2008–09 season began well for Howard. Ten games into the
season, the center was leading the league in blocks per game (4.2) and
even recorded his first triple-double: 30 points, 19 rebounds and 10
blocks. In December, he injured his left knee and missed the first
game of his career after playing in 351 consecutive games. At the
halfway point of the season, Howard was leading the league in rebounds
and blocks, and was among the league leaders in field goal percentage.
He garnered a record 3.1 million votes to earn the starting berth on
the Eastern Conference team for the 2009
NBA All-Star game. On March
25, 2009, Howard led Orlando to its second straight Southeast Division
title with 11 games of the regular season left to play, and
eventually the third seed for the 2009
NBA Playoffs with a 59–23
record. On April 21, 2009, he became the youngest player ever to win
NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award , achieving a goal he had
set for himself before the start of the season. The Magic went into
the playoffs without its injured starting point guard Jameer Nelson,
and in the first round against the 76ers, Howard recorded 24 points
and 24 rebounds in Game 5 to give Orlando a 3–2 lead, before the
Magic closed out the series in six games. On May 6, 2009, the center
was named to the
NBA All-Defensive First Team, and a week later, to
All-NBA First Team. Howard warming up before a game in 2010
In the second round of the playoffs against the defending champions
Boston , the Magic blew a lead in Game 5 and Howard publicly
Stan Van Gundy 's tactics and said that he should be
given the ball more; in Game 6, the center posted 23 points and 22
rebounds to force the series into seven games. The Magic went on to
defeat Boston, and then defeated Cleveland —which was led by league
LeBron James —4–2 in the Eastern Conference Finals. Howard had
a playoffs career-high 40 points to go with his 14 rebounds in the
deciding Game 6, leading Orlando to its first NBA Finals in 14 years.
Los Angeles Lakers
Los Angeles Lakers took the first two home games to establish a
2–0 lead in the Finals, before a home win by the Magic brought the
score to 2–1. In Game 4, despite Howard putting up 21 rebounds and a
Finals-record of 9 blocks in a game, the Magic lost in overtime. The
Lakers went on to win Game 5, and the NBA Finals .
The Magic went into the 2009–10 season with one major roster
change: Türkoğlu departed for the Toronto Raptors, while eight-time
Vince Carter arrived from the
New Jersey Nets . As with
the previous two seasons, the Magic got off to a strong start, winning
17 of their first 21 games, setting a franchise record in the process.
He also picked up two Conference Player of the Week awards. On January
21, 2010, Howard was named as the starting center for the East in the
NBA All-Star Game. Not long after the Magic completed the
regular season with 59 wins and their third consecutive division
title, Howard won the Defensive Player of the Year Award for the
second straight year. He became the first player in NBA history to
lead the league in blocks and rebounds in the same season twice—and
for two years in a row. During the playoffs , the Magic defeated both
Charlotte and Atlanta 4 games to none, in the first and second rounds
respectively. In reaching the Conference Finals again, the Magic faced
Boston—who had upset Cleveland in the Semifinals—Orlando lost the
first three games, took the next two, but finally succumbed in Game 6.
Howard boxes out
JaVale McGee of the
In the 2010–11 regular season , Howard posted career-highs in
points and shooting percentages, but the Magic were unable to win
their division for the fourth straight year. Although the Miami Heat
won the division, the Magic won 52 games, and finished as the fourth
seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs. However, the Magic lost to
Atlanta Hawks in the first-round of the playoffs . Howard led the
NBA in technical fouls with 18 in the regular season, and received
one-game suspensions after his 16th and 18th technicals.
Due to a lockout , the 2011–12 regular season was shortened to 66
games. Not long after the lockout ended, Howard, who was eligible to
become a free agent at the end of the season, demanded a trade to the
New Jersey Nets ,
Los Angeles Lakers
Los Angeles Lakers or
Dallas Mavericks . Howard
stated that although his preference was to remain in Orlando, he did
not feel the Magic organization was doing enough to build a
championship contender. He would later meet with Magic officials and
agree to back off his trade demands, but stated that he also felt the
team needed to make changes to the roster if they wanted to contend
for a championship.
On January 12, 2012, Howard attempted an NBA regular season record 39
free throws against the
Golden State Warriors . Howard entered the
game making 42 percent of his free throws for the season and just
below 60 percent for his career. The Warriors hacked Howard
intentionally throughout the game, and he broke
Wilt Chamberlain 's
regular season record of 34 set in 1962. (Shaquille O\'Neal attempted
39 free throws in Game 2 of the
2000 NBA Finals .) Howard made 21 of
the 39 attempts, and he finished with 45 points and 23 rebounds in the
Magic's 117–109 victory. On January 24, 2012, Howard became the
Magic's all-time scoring leader, surpassing
Nick Anderson 's 10,650
On March 15, 2012, on the day of the trading deadline for the
2011–12 NBA season , Howard signed an amendment to his contract,
waiving his right to opt out at the end of the season and committing
to stay with the Magic through the 2012–13 season . He had
previously asked to be traded to the
New Jersey Nets , and the Magic
were prepared to trade him had Howard not signed the amendment, to
avoid losing him as a free agent. On April 5, Van Gundy said that he
was informed by management that Howard wanted him fired. During the
interview, the center walked up and hugged his coach, unaware that Van
Gundy had confirmed a report that Howard denied.
On April 19, 2012, Howard's agent said that Howard would undergo
surgery to repair a herniated disk in his back, and would miss the
rest of the 2011–12 season, as well as the 2012 Summer Olympics in
London . During the offseason, Howard again requested the Magic trade
him to the Nets, who had relocated to Brooklyn. He intended to become
a free agent at the end of the 2012–13 season if he was not traded
LOS ANGELES LAKERS (2012–2013)
Howard with Lakers in 2013
On August 10, 2012, Howard was traded from Orlando to the Los Angeles
Lakers in a deal that also involved the
Philadelphia 76ers and the
Denver Nuggets . The Lakers also received
Chris Duhon and
Earl Clark ;
the Magic received
Josh McRoberts ,
Christian Eyenga , Maurice
Nikola Vučević ,
Arron Afflalo ,
Al Harrington , and
draft picks; Philadelphia received
Jason Richardson and
Andrew Bynum ;
and Denver received
Andre Iguodala .
Howard took six months off from basketball after his April surgery,
and only had the combined four weeks of training camp and preseason to
prepare for the season. He played in just two preseason games, but
was able to play in the 2012–13 season opener against the Dallas
Mavericks . He had 19 points and 10 rebounds, but he was only 3-for-14
on free throws and fouled out; the Lakers lost 99–91. Still
working himself into shape, Howard paced himself throughout the season
on both offense and defense. On January 4, 2013, Howard injured his
right shoulder in the second half of the Lakers' 107–102 loss to the
Los Angeles Clippers
Los Angeles Clippers when he got his arms tangled up with Caron Butler
. He played through the injury in the next game against the Denver
Nuggets , a 112–105 loss in which he tied a career high with 26
rebounds. However, he missed the next three games with a torn labrum .
At the midpoint of the season, the Lakers were a disappointing
17–24. Howard had not been consistently dominant on defense, and was
at times passive on offense. He was averaging 17.1 points on 58.2%
shooting, 12.3 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks, but also 3.6 fouls a game
with 3.2 turnovers while making only 50.4% of his free throws. The
Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times _ criticized his "ability to laugh off missed free
throws". Howard shooting against the
Milwaukee Bucks in 2013
Many times Howard was upset that he was not getting the ball enough,
and he felt that
Kobe Bryant was shooting too much. Moving forward,
Howard said he needed to "bring it" and dominate in more ways than
just scoring. In the following game against Memphis , he had only two
points and four rebounds in 14 minutes before he sat out the rest of
the game after aggravating his shoulder injury. He returned the
following game showing no ill effects from the injury. On January 30,
Howard left the
Phoenix Suns game early after re-aggravating his
shoulder. He was listed as day to day and missed subsequent games.
Bryant said that Howard "worries too much" and "doesn't want to let
anyone down", and urged him to play through the pain when Pau Gasol
was sidelined with a torn plantar fascia . Howard returned the next
game after commenting that Bryant was "not a doctor, I'm not a doctor.
That's his opinion."
During the All-Star break , Howard committed to having a better
second half. An avid candy lover, Howard adopted a healthier diet to
get into better shape to anchor the Lakers' defense and run D'Antoni's
preferred pick and rolls . He looked fresher after the break.
Still, on February 23, Howard said he was "not even close" to
physically being where he wanted to be. Coach Mike D\'Antoni
attributed his conditioning to his difficulty with running the pick
and roll with
Steve Nash , a play the coach had expected would be a
staple for the team. The Lakers were 8–2 after the All-Star break,
passing Utah for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western
Conference , and Howard had 10 straight games with 12 or more rebounds
while averaging 15.5 points, 14.8 rebounds, and 2.6 blocks. In his
first game back in Orlando on March 12, Howard scored a season-high 39
points and had 16 rebounds in a 106–97 Lakers win. Booed throughout
the game, he made 25-of-39 free throws, setting Lakers records for
free throws made and attempted while tying his NBA record for
attempts. Howard made 16-of-20 free throws when he was fouled
intentionally by the Magic. With Howard anchoring the Lakers defense
and his improved overall play, the team made the playoffs, but they
were swept in the opening round 4–0 by San Antonio. Howard was
ejected in Game 4 with over nine minutes left in the third quarter
after receiving his second technical foul.
Howard finished the season with his lowest scoring average since his
second year in the NBA, and he made under 50% of his free throws for
the second straight year. However, he was the league leader in
rebounding and ranked second in field goal percentage. Although he was
recovering from his back surgery, he only missed six games all
season—all due to his torn labrum. Howard was named to the All-NBA
Third Team after five consecutive first-team honors. He became a free
agent in the summer, and was offered a maximum contract of five years
for $118 million from the Lakers matched with four years for $88
million from other teams.
HOUSTON ROCKETS (2013–2016)
Howard with Rockets teammate
In early July, Howard met with the Lakers,
Dallas Mavericks , Houston
Golden State Warriors and
Atlanta Hawks , and on July 5,
2013, announced via
Twitter that he intended to sign with the Rockets.
He officially signed with Houston on July 13, 2013, joining James
Harden to form a formidable duo. With the Rockets, he was initially
moved from center to power forward to make room for
Ömer Aşık at
center. However, with Aşık's under performing play and constant
injuries, Howard returned to playing the center position as young
Terrence Jones moved to power forward. In his first game for
the Rockets in the season opener on October 30, Howard recorded 17
points and a career high-tying 26 rebounds in a 96-83 win over the
Charlotte Bobcats . Howard finished the regular season with averages
of 18.3 points and 12.2 rebounds per game. During the 2014 playoffs ,
Howard averaged 26 points and 13.7 rebounds per game, but the Rockets
were eliminated by the
Portland Trail Blazers in the first round,
losing the series 4-2. Howard went on to earn
All-NBA second team
After playing in the Rockets' first 10 out of 11 games to start the
2014–15 season , Howard missed 11 straight due to a strained right
knee before returning to action on December 13 against the Denver
Nuggets. In just under 30 minutes of play, he recorded 26 points and
13 rebounds to help the Rockets defeat the Nuggets, 108-96. To add to
his return, Howard recorded his 10,000th career rebound during the
second quarter. However, on January 31, 2015, Howard was ruled out
for a further month due to persistent trouble with his right knee.
After setbacks forced him out for a further month and a total of 26
games, Howard returned to action on March 25 against the New Orleans
Pelicans. He started the game but was held under 17 minutes by coach
Kevin McHale and finished with just four points and seven rebounds in
a 95-93 win.
On November 4, 2015, Howard had 23 points and 14 rebounds against the
Orlando Magic. He shot 10-of-10 to become the first Rocket to make 10
or more field goals without a miss since
Yao Ming went 12-of-12 in
2009. On December 26, he eclipsed 15,000 points for his career in a
loss to the New Orleans Pelicans. On January 18, 2016, in an overtime
loss to the Los Angeles Clippers, Howard had 36 points and tied a
career-high with 26 rebounds en route to his 10th straight
double-double, the league's longest active streak, and his longest
since a 14-game run in 2012–13. On June 22, 2016, Howard declined
his $23 million player option for the 2016–17 season and became an
unrestricted free agent.
ATLANTA HAWKS (2016–2017)
Howard with the Hawks in November 2016
On July 12, 2016, Howard signed a three-year, $70 million contract
Atlanta Hawks . Howard felt excited to play in his
hometown, citing an affinity for the tactics of coach Mike Budenholzer
and saying that "I'm looking forward to not just this season, but
finishing my career at home.” He made his debut for the Hawks in
their season opener on October 27 against the
Washington Wizards . In
30 minutes of action, he recorded 11 points and 19 rebounds in a
114–99 win. Howard posted the most rebounds for anyone in their
Atlanta debut, breaking the mark of 18 that
Shareef Abdur-Rahim set
October 30, 2001. On November 2, he recorded a season-high 31 points
and 11 rebounds in a 123–116 loss to the
Los Angeles Lakers
Los Angeles Lakers . The
Hawks started the season 9–2 before dropping 10 of the next 11
games. They snapped a seven-game losing streak on December 7 with a
103–95 win over the
Miami Heat , behind Howard's 23 points and 17
rebounds. On December 17, he had a season-best 23 rebounds in a
107–99 loss to the
Charlotte Hornets . On February 2, 2017, he
scored 24 points and grabbed 23 rebounds in his first game in Houston
since signing with Atlanta in the offseason, leading the Hawks to a
113–108 victory over the Rockets. On March 29, 2017, he had 22
points and 20 rebounds to lead the Hawks to a 99–92 win over the
Philadelphia 76ers .
After struggling to make an impact over the Hawks' first three
playoff games in their first-round series with the Washington Wizards
, Howard had his best game of the postseason in Game 4, putting up a
double-double by halftime and finishing with 16 points and 15 rebounds
to help the Hawks tie the series at 2–2 with a 111–101 win.
CHARLOTTE HORNETS (2017–PRESENT)
On June 20, 2017, the Hawks traded Howard, along with the 31st
overall pick in the 2017
NBA draft , to the
Charlotte Hornets in
Marco Belinelli ,
Miles Plumlee and the 41st overall pick
in the 2017 NBA draft.
HONORS, AWARDS AND ACHIEVEMENTS
List of career achievements by Dwight Howard
Howard has amassed several NBA and franchise records and awards
during his NBA career. He has led the league in rebounds per game five
times, blocks per game twice, and double-doubles three times. He is
also the youngest player in NBA history to reach 1000, 2000, 3000,
4000, 5000, 6000, 7000, 8000 and 9000 career rebounds, and the
youngest player in NBA history to lead the league in rebounding and
blocks. Following Howard's 2009–10 season, he became the first NBA
player ever to lead the league in total rebounds for five consecutive
seasons. He surpassed
Wilt Chamberlain 's record of four from
1959–60 –1962–63 , and again from 1965–66 –1968–69 . He
became the first player to lead the league in rebounding and blocks in
consecutive seasons, and was also the first player ever to lead the
league in rebounding, blocks, and field goal percentage in the same
season. He currently holds the NBA record for best field goal
percentage in the playoffs at 58.9%. On April 18, 2011, Howard won the
NBA's Defensive Player of the Year Award, becoming the first player in
league history to have won the award in three consecutive seasons.
From the 2007–08 season through the 2012–13 season, Howard led the
league in defensive rebounds, a league record.
NBA CAREER STATISTICS
Minutes per game
Field goal percentage
3-point field goal percentage
Free throw percentage
Rebounds per game
Assists per game
Steals per game
Blocks per game
Points per game
Led the league
UNITED STATES NATIONAL TEAM
Howard at the
Howard was named on 5 March 2006 to the 2006–2008 USA Basketball
Men\'s Senior National Team program. As the team's regular starting
center, he helped lead the team to a 5–0 record during its pre-World
Championship tour, and subsequently helped the team win the bronze
medal at the 2006
FIBA World Championship . During the FIBA Americas
Championship 2007 , Howard was on the team which won its first nine
games en route to qualifying for the finals and a spot for the 2008
Olympics . He started in eight of those nine games, averaging 8.9
ppg, 5.3 rpg and led the team in shooting .778 from the field. In the
finals, he made all seven of his shots and scored 20 points as the USA
defeated Argentina to win the gold medal.
On June 23, 2008, Howard was named as one of the members of the
12-man squad representing the United States in the 2008 Olympic Games
in Beijing. With Howard starting as center, Team USA won all of its
games en route to the gold medal, breaking their drought of gold
medals dating back to the
2000 Olympics . Howard averaged 10.9 points
and 5.8 rebounds per game in the tournament.
Howard in 2013
Standing at 6 feet 11 inches tall (2.11 m) and weighing 265 pounds
(120 kg), Howard plays the center position. Howard led the NBA in
rebounding from 2007 to 2010, and again from 2012 to 2013. Howard's
rebounding is in part facilitated by his extraordinary athleticism;
his running vertical leap was tested at 39.5 inches in 2011, rare for
a player of his size. He demonstrated this skill in the 2007 Slam
Dunk Contest , where he completed an alley oop dunk from teammate
Jameer Nelson while slapping a sticker onto the backboard at 12 ft 6
in (3.81 m) high. The sticker showed an image of his own smiling face
with a handwritten "All things through Christ Phil: 4:13", a
paraphrase of Philippians 4:13. Howard's leaping reach of 12 ft 6 in
(3.81 m) is the highest documented in NBA history, 1 inch (2.5 cm)
higher than Shaquille O'Neal's previous record of 12 ft 5 in (3.78 m).
As of April 2013, Howard's career average of 12.9 rebounds per game
(in the regular season) ranked 12th in NBA history.
Howard's abilities and powerful physique have drawn attention from
fellow NBA All-Stars.
Tim Duncan once remarked in 2007: " is so
developed... He has so much promise and I am glad that I will be out
of the league when he is peaking."
Kevin Garnett echoed those
sentiments: " is a freak of nature, man... I was nowhere near that
physically talented. I wasn't that gifted, as far as body and physical
presence." Subsequent to a game in the 2009
NBA Playoffs ,
Philadelphia 76ers swingman
Andre Iguodala said: "It's like he can
guard two guys at once. He can guard his guy and the guy coming off
the pick-and-roll, which is almost impossible to do... If he gets any
more athletic or jumps any higher, they're going to have to change the
rules." As early as December 2007,
ESPN writer David Thorpe declared
Howard to be the most dominant center in the NBA.
While many sports pundits have been rating Howard as one of the top
young prospects in the NBA since 2006, Howard has some weaknesses
in his game. Offensively, his shooting range remains limited; he is
also mistake-prone, having led the NBA in total number of turnovers in
the 2006–07 season. Like many centers, he has a low free throw
conversion percentage. As a result, he is often a target of the
Hack-a-Shaq defense and is annually among the league leaders in free
throw attempts. During the 2007–08 regular season, Howard led the
NBA with 897 free throw attempts while shooting only 59% from the free
throw line. Also in that season, outside of layups and dunks, his
shooting percentage was only 31.6%. In the 2008–09 season, he led
the NBA again with 849 free throw attempts and in 2009–10, he was
second in the NBA with 816.
LIFE OUTSIDE OF BASKETBALL
Before he was drafted in 2004, Howard said that he wanted to use his
NBA career and Christian faith to "raise the name of God within the
league and throughout the world". He has stated he believes in
reaching out to his community and fans and thus contributes
substantially in the field of philanthropy . An avid listener of
Gospel music , he attends the Fellowship of Faith Church when he is
back home in Atlanta and is involved and active with the youth
programs at the church. Together with his parents, Howard also
established the Dwight D. Howard Foundation Inc. in 2004. The
Foundation provides scholarships for students who want to attend his
alma mater , Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy, and grants to Lovell
Elementary School and Memorial Middle School in
Orlando, Florida .
The Foundation also organizes summer basketball camps for boys and
girls, and together with high school and college coaches and players,
fellow NBA players are invited to be on hand at the camp. For his
contributions in the Central Florida community, Howard received in
2005 the Rich and Helen De Vos Community Enrichment Award. Within the
NBA itself, Howard has participated in several NBA "Read to Achieve"
assemblies encouraging children to make reading a priority. In
November 2009, the center was named one of the 10 finalists for the
Jefferson Awards for Public Service, which awards athletes for their
charitable work. In 2009, Howard, along with several other NBA
players, joined the Hoops for St. Jude charity program benefitting the
St. Jude Children\'s Research Hospital .
Elsewhere, Howard appeared as a special guest on an episode of the
ABC series _Extreme Makeover: Home Edition _ that aired April 2, 2006,
Ty Pennington and his team built a new home and ministry
offices for Sadie Holmes, who operates a social services ministry in
the Orlando area. He made another appearance on the show in the
October 9, 2011 episode.
Sam Worthington and
Jonah Hill , Howard appeared in a
commercial for the video game _Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 _.
Howard, along with
Carmelo Anthony and
Scottie Pippen , also appeared
in the 2013 Chinese film _Amazing _, a joint venture between the NBA
Shanghai Film Group Corporation .
In 2014, Epix featured Howard as the focal point of a documentary
about his life called "In the Moment". The film was directed by Ross
Greenburg and Executive Producers include
Michael D. Ratner and
On November 18, 2007, Howard's ex-girlfriend, former Magic dancer
Royce Reed, gave birth to their son, Braylon. Howard won a defamation
judgment against Reed in 2010, when a Florida judge ruled that she
violated a court order prohibiting her from mentioning him in the
media. He had initially sought $550,500,000 in damages, claiming that
she had disparaged him through
Twitter and her appearances on the
reality television show, _
Basketball Wives _, as the couple's
paternity agreement stipulated a $500 fine for each time she mentioned
him in public.
In October 2014, police in
Cobb County, Georgia investigated claims
by Reed that Howard abused their son. Howard had admitted to hitting
Braylon with a belt, as he had also been disciplined while growing up,
and he stated that he did not realize it was wrong. Howard was also
involved in a civil case with Reed over custody of their son.
National Basketball Association portal
List of career achievements by Dwight Howard
* List of
National Basketball Association career rebounding leaders
* List of
National Basketball Association career blocks leaders
* List of
National Basketball Association career playoff blocks
* List of
National Basketball Association annual rebounding leaders
* List of
National Basketball Association annual blocks leaders
* List of
National Basketball Association players with most blocks
in a game
* ^ The previous Lakers records were held by Bryant, who made 23
twice—most recently in 2006 against New York—while Shaquille
O\'Neal attempted 31 in 1999 against Chicago.
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