Dwight Howard is atop the NBA’s most polarizing players of all time. The Washington Wizards big man has undeniable talent, but his bad attitude and reputation issues have made him a prime target. Howard’s had a great career, but is it Hall of Fame worthy? Yes, according to Dwight.
“I don’t really concern myself with what a lot of people say about me,” Howard said, addressing his haters and Hall of Fame candidacy. “My resume speaks for itself.” (per TMZ)
Howard’s resume is incredibly impressive.
Drafted first overall in 2004 by the Orlando Magic, Howard is an eight-time All-Star, a five-time first team All-NBAer, a three-time Defensive Player of the Year and the leagues leading rebounder in five straight seasons. The 32-year-old early years, specifically with Orlando, were terrific. He’s had three seasons of averaging 20+ points, 13+ rebounds, and 2+ blocks. Howard’s averaged at least 12 points, ten boards and a block in every single of one of his 14 NBA seasons. On paper, he’s a Hall of Famer.
However, when you look deeper into Howard’s time in the NBA, his Hall of Fame candidacy if a bit murky.
Howard’s reputation in the NBA has almost dwarfed his incredible performance. There are so many stories of Dwight being a toxic lockerroom presence, dividing teams and sinking championship contenders. Just to name a few among many:
- Dwight Howard’s Toxic Chemistry with Steve Nash Is Holding LA Lakers Back
Perhaps, the most damning moment to Dwight’s reputation is when he starred in the most awkward interview in NBA history, where his former Magic coach Stan Van Gundy told the media Dwight wanted him fired, followed by an unknowing Howard hugging him and denying the rumors. It’s pure cringe.
Who knows if all those rumors are true?
So what’s holding Howard back from a basketball standpoint?
In his 14-NBA seasons, Howard has appeared in 95 playoff games and won a total of zero championships. His closest chance was in against the Lakers in 2009 when Orlando lost in the NBA Finals in five games. Players who haven’t won have been inducted into the Hall before, but those players were some of the best ever.
Howard is also one of the worst three throw shooters of all time, with a career mark of .583. It also doesn’t help his performance has declined since leaving Orlando. He hasn’t averaged 20 points since 2011-12.
Comparatively, he’s played at the same level as Hall of Fame center Alonzo Mourning, who similarly declined in the later stages of his career. What’s different is Howard’s going to have a much longer, more productive career, but probably won’t have any championships on his resume.
Ultimately, Howard’s not a shoe-in for the Hall. However, he deserves to be there – reputation be damned. His early performance in Orlando and his consistency is too impressive to ignore.