REPORT: Lakers’ Dwight Howard will participate in Slam Dunk Contest
Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard will participate in this year’s Slam Dunk Contest, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic. Howard won the 2008 Dunk Contest and consequently lost his crown to Nate Robinson in 2009, the last of three straight appearances in the contest.
Howard was among the most memorable participants, not only due to his size at 6-foot-11, but also due to his creativity and use of props. Howard donned a superman cape for one of his final dunks, an image that has since been embedded in the minds of fans.
Howard didn’t dunk the ball but actually threw it into the hoop after taking an alley-oop pass from then-teammate Jameer Nelson, showing the full extent of his athleticism.
This time around, though, Howard is no longer 23 years old, but 34, and it’s been a full decade since he last competed in this event.
Superman still has plenty of rim-rocking dunks to show, but he will be greatly aided by his size and length this time around, as opposed to his exuberant explosiveness.
Howard has had a career resurgence in his return to the Los Angeles Lakers this season, averaging 7.1 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game and making the best of his role as a reserve. He recently blocked five shots in the Lakers’ 20-block party against the Detroit Pistons, showing he still has some of his Defensive Player of the Year instinct, even if he is in the back end of his basketball career.
Lakers teammates and coaches have raved about Howard’s productivity on the floor and his qualities as a teammate, which have helped the team storm to the top of the Western Conference.