Dwight Howard feeling motivated after a phone call with Michael Jordan
The Charlotte Hornets traded for former Defensive Player of the Year and All-Star center Dwight Howard on Tuesday. In a trade that sent the 41st pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, guard Marco Belinelli, and center Miles Plumlee to the Atlanta Hawks, the Hornets received a good rebounder and rim-protector in Howard.
Of course, he is no longer the elite player that he was seven or eight years ago, but he excels at things that the Hornets lack.
Charlotte was in the bottom half of the league in both rebounding and blocked shots last season, so Howard will definitely help in those categories. The former Magic, Lakers, and Rockets player averaged 12.7 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game last season.
However, Howard only averaged 13.5 points on 8.3 shots per game, both career lows (excluding his rookie season).
After the trade happened, Howard received a call from Hornets majority owner and Bulls legend Michael Jordan. According to Rick Bonnell from the Charlotte Observer, Howard felt incredibly motivated after talking to the greatest player of all time.
“I’d just done a two-and-a-half-hour workout. After I was done talking to him, I wanted to jump back into the gym,” said Howard. “That’s how he motivated me. You’re talking about the greatest basketball player to ever play. For him to call you on the phone and say, ‘I believe in you.'”
Dwight Howard will be the starting center for the Hornets next season as they are hoping to get into the playoffs after a one-year break. With some new pieces in Howard and 11th pick Malik Monk, the Hornets will be contending for the bottom seeds in the East.