Dwight Howard is a former NBA center who has played for nine different teams throughout his career. He was one of the most dominant centers in the league, but never won an NBA championship.
Dwight Howard is a three-time Defensive Player of the Year. He has played for nine teams and won one NBA Championship. Read more in detail here: nba defensive player of the year 2020.
Dwight Howard is one of the best defensive players of all time, and when his career is done, he will be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Despite being a frightening interior presence early in his career, Howard has been a bit of a journeyman since 2013, having played for seven different teams. As a consequence, it’s impossible to assess Howard’s legacy.
However, when considering Howard’s whole career, with all of its highs and lows, there’s no disputing that he was a valuable center throughout the most of his tenure in the league. Here is a timeline of Dwight’s career, from his rookie season through the upcoming 2022 season, when he will play for the Los Angeles Lakers for the third time.
2004-2012 Orlando Magic
Howard, who entered the NBA as the one overall selection in the 2014 Draft, did not disappoint. While starting all 82 games with the Magic, the big man averaged 12.0 PPG, 10.0 RPG, and 1.7 BPG. Despite his inexperience and lack of development, he showed enough potential to be a franchise center and was named to the All-Rookie Team.
Howard would develop into an All-Star over the following two years, becoming one in his third year. Dwight would soon be on his way to becoming a superstar, as he would lead the league in rebounds five times with the Magic over the following six years. During that time, he would also lead the league in blocks twice.
Dwight Howard was at his best in Orlando, and he was just getting started. From 2009 to 2011, he earned three consecutive Defensive Player of the Year Awards and reached the NBA Finals. When Dwight was an All-Star with the Magic, he was by far the greatest big man in the NBA, and his time with the Magic alone is enough to put him in the Hall of Fame as one of the best defensive players ever.
2012-2013 Los Angeles Lakers
Howard’s tenure with the Magic came to an end quickly when he had a falling out with management and then-head coach Stan Van Gundy, leading him to join the Los Angeles Lakers. Howard would join a lengthy line of great Lakers big men, including George Mikan, Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Shaquille O’Neal, in a deal that would send Lakers big man Andrew Bynum to Philadelphia. Unfortunately, Howard was unable to be a dominating player in Los Angeles due to the strain and persistent ailments.
Dwight made the All-Star Team despite scoring 17.1 points per game and 12.4 rebounds per game, but he couldn’t assist a “old” Lakers team that included Pau Gasol and Steve Nash. Howard also had a strained relationship with Kobe Bryant, and head coach Mike Brown was unfit for the squad. The Lakers were swept in four games in the first round of the playoffs, which was a complete catastrophe.
2013-2016 Houston Rockets
Following being a perennial All-Star, Dwight Howard became one of the major free agents after the 2013 season, opting to join James Harden in Houston. The Rockets felt like they were a championship contender with Howard and Harden on board, and in many ways, they were.
In 2014, Howard was named to his eighth (and last) All-Star Team with the Rockets, helping Harden lead the team to a 54-28 record under head coach Kevin McHale. Houston would fall in the first round to the Portland Trail Blazers, but there remained hope for the future.
The Rockets completed the next season with a 56-26 record, putting them in position for a long playoff run. Howard barely appeared in 41 games, but James Harden’s dominance kept the club afloat. The Rockets advanced to the Western Conference Finals after overcoming the Mavericks and defeating the Clippers in seven games, but they were defeated by the Warriors in five games. In Houston, rumblings about Howard’s waning influence were beginning to surface.
The next season, it was obvious that Howard’s time as a superstar had come to an end. With a 41-41 record, the big man participated in 71 games but was unable to lead the Rockets to a high West seeding. But, with Harden on board, Dwight felt the club had what it had to make another postseason run. But, once again, Howard could not escape a first-round departure, as a Damian Lillard buzzer-beater sent the Rockets home and brought an end to Howard’s time with the team.
2016-2017 Atlanta Hawks
Dwight Howard was a thorn in James Harden’s side, grumbling about his lack of touches in the offense. The big man declined his player option to stay with the Rockets and became an unrestricted free agency, as anticipated. He chose to play for his local club, the Hawks, and inked a $70 million deal with them. Howard would go on to play in 74 games, averaging 13.5 points per game and 12.7 rebounds per game, but he was no longer an All-Star by the middle of the season.
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The Hawks moved Howard to the Charlotte Hornets in a money dump because they realized they couldn’t win a championship with the big man on the team. The Hornets gladly welcomed the former All-Star, who only appeared in 81 games and averaged 16.6 points and 12.5 rebounds per game. Howard was dealt to the Nets once again, but he was released right afterwards. Howard had been clear since the last season of his Rockets tenure that he would not receive a large deal and would never return to All-Star form.
2018-2019 Washington Wizards
Dwight Howard joined with the Washington Wizards in July 2018, despite the fact that he would miss all of training camp and the first seven games of the regular season. Howard would play a total of nine games before being shut down for the remainder of the season due to numerous ailments. Dwight was unsurprisingly moved to the Memphis Grizzlies, where he was released a month later.
2019-2020 Los Angeles Lakers
Dwight Howard, at 34 years old, agreed to a veteran’s minimum contract with the Los Angeles Lakers in exchange for a second shot with the Purple and Gold. Dwight was OK with a little part and was determined to earn his first championship ring. Howard would go on to play important minutes for the Lakers in the playoffs despite only playing 18.9 minutes per game and averaging 7.5 points and 7.3 rebounds. Playing alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis certainly helped.
Howard earned his NBA ring regardless of whether he started with Davis or came off the bench.
The Philadelphia 76ers will compete in the 2020-2021 NBA season.
The Sixer Instinct
Howard would join with the Philadelphia 76ers after winning his first championship in the hopes of capturing his second. Dwight played in 69 games, averaging 7.0 points and 8.4 rebounds in 17.3 minutes per game. Dwight was extremely successful as Joel Embiid’s backup, and he showed that he can still be a role player for championship contenders at 35 years old.
2021-2022 Los Angeles Lakers
Howard signed with the Lakers for his third tenure with the club this summer, with a chance to win his second title. Along with LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Russell Westbrook, the big man has a great opportunity to win a championship, and a second ring before his retirement might be the cherry on top of a Hall of Fame career. Howard’s defensive domination as a member of the Magic cannot be disputed, and he will be regarded as one of the greatest centers of his time, even if he moved around the league later in his career and had painful breakups with title-contending teams.
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Dwight Howard is a former NBA center who has played for the Orlando Magic, Los Angeles Lakers, Houston Rockets, Charlotte Hornets, Atlanta Hawks, Washington Wizards and Brooklyn Nets. He was selected to the All-NBA First Team three times and won three Defensive Player of the Year awards. Reference: dwight howard defensive player of the year.
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