NBA champion makes decision on basketball future

 

Dwight Howard will continue playing basketball; it just won’t be in the United States.

On Monday, the one-time NBA champion announced that he will be heading overseas to play in Taiwan’s top basketball league after 18 NBA seasons.

Dwight Howard, #39 of the Los Angeles Lakers, smiles during the game against the Golden State Warriors on April 7, 2022 at Chase Center in San Francisco.
(Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)

“I am so, so excited, and I can’t wait to touch down in Taiwan and start playing for the Taoyuan City Leopards,” Howard said in a social media post.

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“I can’t wait to see the fans, eat the food, and have the best time ever, and bring a championship to Taoyuan City.”

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Howard, an eight-time All-Star, became a free agent after playing in his third stint with the Los Angeles Lakers during the 2021-2022 season.

Dwight Howard, #39 of the Los Angeles Lakers, warms up before the game between the New Orleans Pelicans and the Los Angeles Lakers on April 1, 2022 at Crypto.Com Arena in Los Angeles.
(Adam Pantozzi/NBAE)

He averaged 6.2 points and 5.9 rebounds in his final season in Los Angeles as the Lakers failed to make the playoffs.

After playing for seven teams in his career, Howard went unsigned during the offseason, prompting the decision to head overseas.

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On the “Club Shay Shay” podcast with Shannon Sharpe, Howard explained that he felt “disrespected” by not being signed, but suggested that the Brooklyn Nets would have been a good destination for his services.

“I talked to them,” Howard said of the Nets. “They said they need a big that can shoot. I’m like, ‘Y’all just had a big that can shoot.'”

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Dwight Howard attends Special Los Angeles Screening Of Netflix’s “The Redeem Team” at TUDUM Theater on Sept. 22, 2022 in Hollywood, California.
(Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images)

“I felt like that would have been a great pickup, a big that could protect the rim, play good pick-and-roll defense, rebound. The pick-and-roll with KD [Kevin Durant], Kyrie [Irving], and Ben Simmons, I felt like that would have been lethal with me in it.”

Howard is a three-time Defensive Player of the Year winner, averaging 15.7 points, 11.8 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks per game in his career.