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Hornets news: Dwight Howard feels at his best ‘mentally, physically, and spiritually’ for quite some time

Dwight Howard, hornets

There used to be a time when Dwight Howard was the flag bearer of all NBA big men. The 6-foot-11 center holds the distinction of being the only player in league history to win three straight Defensive Player of the Year awards (2008-09, 2009-10, 2010-11). He was DeAndre Jordan and Andre Drummond with a much better offensive game.

The Orlando Magic were fortunate to have enjoyed his best years, and it was all downhill for Howard from then on. His stopovers with the Los Angeles Lakers, Houston Rockets, and Atlanta Hawks were all tainted with either a personality clash or miserable fit. His stint for his hometown Hawks ended so bad that he was essentially traded away by the team for a bag of chips.

Now with the Charlotte Hornets, Dwight Howard has another opportunity in front of him to start anew and reinvigorate his spiraling career. During an appearance at Starmount Academy, a Charlotte elementary school, the former All-Star center spilled some encouraging words, per Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer.

“This opportunity for myself to really get back everything that I would say has been taken away. I’m not too much worried about the naysayers, the rankings and stuff, but just the hearts of the people,” Howard said. “I’m in a much better place mentally, physically and spiritually than I have been in a couple of years.”

It’s a tall order for Dwight Howard. But he is off to a good start as far as having his coach’s vote of confidence, especially on his ‘elite’ defensive capabilities, is concerned. When it comes to regaining his place among the NBA’s elite big men, the window is getting smaller for Howard.

The evolution of the NBA game also doesn’t help his case. As more teams now elect to play faster, big men with trouble staying in front of smaller opponents have oftentimes been rendered useless.

But if his words ring true, there might be some serious buzz coming from North Carolina, when the regular season matures, about a once-feared NBA force slowly working his way to a resurgence.