When news broke out that Dwight Howard would join his hometown team, the Atlanta Hawks, their fans rejoiced with the thought of having the eight-time All-Star part of their already competitive lineup.

But the 30-year-old did not tell his mom he got an offer from them but instead said it was from the Utah Jazz.

The 6-foot-11 center played a prank on her mother and told her that he agreed to join the Salt Lake City team and will not be playing close to home and his family. He discussed what happened when she told that to her mom and how he admitted it was a joke:

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“I played a prank on my mom, I wanted to see her reaction, so I told her, I said, ‘Mom, I just got this big contract, $150 million.’ And she was like, ‘Oh my God, from who?’ I said, ‘Utah Jazz,’ and she started crying. And I said, ‘Mom, sorry, I was just joking, I’m coming home to Atlanta.’ And then she was super happy and my family was super excited.”

As it stands, Howard has been a huge part of the Hawks early success this season. He has played the role of the team’s defensive anchor and has been averaging 15.2 points, 12.4 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 1.2 steals and 1.9 blocks per game.

His contributions have helped his team own the second-best record in the East with a 7-2 slate. Atlanta has a lot of optimism that with the three-time Defensive Player of the Year now in their fold, the team can beat the other powerhouse teams in the East and compete for the title this season.