Dwight Howard Called an NBA Analyst After Hearing Him Say He Was a Locker Room Problem on the Hornets on TV: ‘That’s Not Fair, You’re Taking Money Out of My Pocket’
During the 2017-18 season, Dwight Howard appeared in 81 games with the Charlotte Hornets and averaged a double-double. However, he was traded in the offseason after multiple reports stated he was a locker room cancer.
Since his days with the Orlando Magic ended, Howard has had something negative reported about him basically every season. The big man doesn’t always respond to the rumors, but he did in Charlotte.
Dwight Howard called Brendan Haywood
Former center Brendan Haywood is an analyst for NBA TV. During the 2017-18 season, he reported that people in the Hornets organization believed Howard was toxic for the locker room. When the eight-time All-Star heard about it, he picked up the phone and called Haywood.
“When I was in Charlotte, and I always go back to that year, I saw Brendan Haywood on air and he’s saying how people in the organization are saying I was bad in the locker room and all this and all that,” Howard told Tyler R. Tynes of GQ. “So I called him…you ain’t spent one day in our locker room. How could you get on air and say something about something you don’t even know? That’s not fair. You’re taking money out of my pocket. My whole career I have never got on air and spoke about anybody that has played in the NBA or that’s playing right now in a negative way, even if I have my own personal feelings about a player or person.”
The Hornets went 36-46 and missed the playoffs in 2017-18. Despite averaging 16.6 points and 12.5 rebounds while shooting 55.5% from the field, Howard was traded to the Brooklyn Nets. The Nets then waived the three-time Defensive Player of the Year, who signed with the Washington Wizards after being recruited by John Wall.
Howard only played in nine games with the Wizards after undergoing an L4-L5 lumbar microdiscectomy. Due to off-the-court rumors, there was too much baggage around the eight-time All-NBA center, so Washington traded him to the Memphis Grizzlies, who immediately waived Howard.
There was a point where it looked like Howard’s NBA career was over. However, after the Los Angeles Lakers lost DeMarcus Cousins to an ACL tear before the start of the 2019-20 season, they needed another frontcourt player.
Dwight Howard went back to the Lakers
Howard averaged 17.1 points and 12.4 rebounds for the Lakers in 2012-13. However, he didn’t get along with Kobe Bryant and signed with the Houston Rockets in the summer of 2013. The former Magic star was eager to get a second chance in Los Angeles, and he made the most of it.
Howard put up 7.5 points and 7.3 rebounds in 2019-20. He helped the Lakers defeat the Miami Heat in the 2020 Finals by playing solid defense and being a force on the boards. After struggling to win a title for so many years, Howard finally reached the mountain top and was extremely emotional in the Lakers’ postgame locker room at the Walt Disney World bubble.
In the summer of 2020, Howard was an unrestricted free agent again. He thought he was going to re-sign with the Lakers. However, some miscommunication happened, and the Georgia native wound up signing with the Philadelphia 76ers. Howard averaged 7.0 points and 8.4 rebounds for the Sixers, who lost to the Atlanta Hawks in the second round of the 2021 playoffs in seven games.
Howard was once again an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2021. He never wanted to leave the Lakers, so he went back to Los Angeles for the third time.
Veteran is back with the Lakers, again
Howard is in his third stint with the Lakers. He’s averaging a career-low in minutes, points, and rebounds as the Lakers struggle out of the gate. He also got into a scuffle with Anthony Davis in the second game of the season, although both guys downplayed the incident.
Howard used to be the best center in the NBA when he was in Orlando. Now, he’s a bench guy who only plays around 15 minutes per game. However, it was good to see Howard win a championship in 2020. After his Magic days, he went through a lot but never gave up on his dream to hold the Larry O’Brien Trophy.