What would you do if a peer and senior constantly picked on you? Would you give them respect, or turn back and be petty? Dwight Howard chose the former, because, in an interview, he chose to play Shaquille O’Neal over two BIG names.
In a classic game of “Start, Bench, Trade”, Dight was asked who were his picks between Shaq, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Hakeem Olajuwon. Three of the greatest Centers, and Howard had to trade one? Any name he picked would have been controversial.
He had every opportunity to cast Shaq aside, given their history. But he did a complete 180 and started him instead. Shocking!
That left either Kareem or Hakeem to get traded away, and Howard had a dilemma on his hands. Hakeem, the GOAT Big man, or the Dream? After careful pondering, he went with the Dream and decided to trade KAJ away.
There is no right answer to a question that is designed to make you fail – but in Howard’s case, the answer was defined.
The animosity between him and Shaq is always palpable, but he chose to be the bigger man instead. If the tables were turned, Howard would have been cut – not traded.
Dwight Howard deserves plaudits for his achievements in Basketball – more so because of his respect for Shaq
Dwight Howard has fallen off the minds of the people because of his recent years – his prime years should not be forgotten. DH made Bulldozers look tiny, with bowling balls for shoulders and dinner rolls for abs.
Howard should have been a top-75 candidate, despite all the bad press he received. The journeyman center could have cemented himself as a legend, were it not for his ego 10 years ago. When Kobe Bryant was the second most arrogant person on the team, you knew there was something wrong.
But even after getting canned from the Lakers team, Howard performed wherever he went. But the damage had been done. Shaquille O’Neal hated Dwight because he not only emulated him in Orlando, he went to the Lakers and flopped badly.
All those berating is because Howard took his spotlight in Orlando, his Superman Moniker, and then proceeded to join Kobe Bryant – his eternal frenemy. Had Howard chosen a different career path, we might have seen Shaq praise the man.
Despite all of that, when Dwight was faced with a question all of us have asked ourselves, He chose Shaq. With a smile too, because he is distinguished. He knows Big Diesel’s capabilities on the court trump his post-retirement comments.
Also Read: Shaquille O’Neal, Who Was Berated By Kobe Bryant For Being 375lbs, Disliked Jayson Tatum Texting Him
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar or Hakeem Olajuwon – who would be your pick?
The Dream is out here still coaching people to become better players – Kareem is making the world a better place. But if it came to pure basketball capabilities, The Dream would start. The man had no real weakness, and went over Michael Jordan in the draft – that’s enough to cement his position as a starter.
Kareem won 6 rings, has the most points in the regular season (not for long), and is one of the few multiple MVP winners. One can argue about his status as a superhuman during the Bucks’ run, but as a Laker, he always had legitimate Hall-of-Famers next to him.
Either way, Howard made a generous call to place his bully in the starting lineup. Goes to show, buying random people’s stuff on camera does not always make you the nicest person ever.
Also Read: “I’m Going to Call My Parents!”: Kevin Durant Surpasses Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan, Can’t Hide His Giddiness