Dwight Howard has seemingly never been recognized as a valued teammate.
Some new information validates that presumption, suggesting that his Atlanta Hawks teammates weren’t very sad to see him go after he was traded this summer.
Via Zach Lowe of ESPN’s The Lowe Post Podcast, the teammates were even enthusiastic about their dislike of Howard.
“I don’t know what it is. No one has kind of gotten to the bottom of why. It can’t just be the corny jokes – and my god, does he tell the corniest jokes – but I’ve heard multiple stories of Hawks players learning about the trade and screaming with jubilation into their phones," Lowe revealed.
No one has been able to put a finger on exactly why Howard isn’t liked, but Lowe seems to have heard a few of the reasons from unnamed Hawks players.
He continued, “You ask why, and one account was that Dwight would give these speeches before the game about how everyone is playing hard, we want unity, we’re going to… and then go out and play like a blah game where he demands post touches and doesn’t rotate as hard as he could. And everyone is like, ‘why are you speaking in the locker room?’ But that’s all anecdotal. It’s just crazy how these stories come out after every stop in his career.”
Howard made it very clear that he was unhappy with his role on the Hawks during the playoffs, when he was repeatedly benched late in games due to his abysmal free throw shooting.
“It was very difficult,” he said after the team's opening round series loss against the Washington Wizards. “I want to play. I want to be out on the floor. I want to make a difference. I want to make an impact, and I can’t do that on the bench.”
Previously, he publicly threw the Houston Rockets under the bus in front of a national audience on ESPN’s Mike & Mike radio show, blaming everyone but himself for what went wrong during his time with that club.
“I know what I'm capable of and I know what I can bring to a team,” he said at the time. “It's not like I came in asking for the ball on every possession. But I don't want anybody to think that I was a selfish-type of player, but I know to win, you have to have some sort of inside attack."
It remains to be seen how Howard will handle his role on the Charlotte Hornets, but if the past is any indication, Howard will complain if he doesn't possess a major role on offense.