When he was a perennial All-Star with the Orlando Magic, Dwight Howard was the best big man in the NBA and seemed destined to be an elite player in the league for the foreseeable future. But a back injury and a number of other factors have robbed Howard of the athleticism he once had. He is still an excellent player but Howard is no longer the star he once was.
Despite his fall from elite status, Howard believes that after he retires, he will “no doubt” be enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
Do you feel like you’ve built a resume worthy of induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame?
No doubt. It’s kind of got swept under the rug because the perception of all the things that happened in Orlando. All of the media stuff. If you look at basketball itself, and I don’t ever talk about myself, but winning three Defensive Player of the Year trophies has never been done. Leading the league in rebounding six straight years. All that kind of stuff, I think that deserves it.
Howard may no longer be a superstar but when you look at his career, which is far from over, there should be little doubt that he is a future Hall of Famer. The Hawks center has been an eight-time All-Star, won Defensive Player of the Year three times, made the All-NBA First Team five times, made the All-NBA Defensive First Team four times and led the league in rebounding five times. Howard was a legitimate beast in his prime and will likely retire averaging a double-double in points and rebounds.
Even now with the Hawks, Howard is quite productive and is averaging 13.1 points, 12.9 rebounds and 1.3 blocks in 29.5 minutes a game. He is still one of the better rim protectors and rebounders in the league.
Howard hasn’t had a lot of team success since his days with the Magic and his reputation has taken a hit because of failed pairings with Kobe Bryant and James Harden. But individually, Howard has been brilliant throughout his career and he will surely become a Hall of Famer after he retires.