Dwight Howard is a top-75 player in NBA history. Hell, he may even be a top-50 player in NBA history, but not according to the panel of players, media and other league figures that decided which players made it onto the league’s 75th Anniversary Team.
Howard, an eight-time All-Star, three-time Defensive Player of the Year and, most recently, an NBA champion, was left off of the team that was released last month in what can only be described as a comical oversight.
Understandably, Howard was upset. But he wasn’t surprised, as he told Taylor Rooks during their recent live interview on the Bleacher Report app:
Rooks: I want you to tell me in as much detail as possible, the day that list came out, when you saw it, where you were.
Howard: I knew I wasn’t going to be on it.
Howard: Politics. I already knew. I knew. As soon as they made a 75 list, I said, “yeah, they ain’t gonna put me on the 75 list.” I might as well forget about it.
Howard doesn’t want anyone to think it’s something that he wakes up angry about, though. As certain as he is that he should be on the team, he says he got over it:
Howard: I most definitely should be on that list, but it’s okay. It is so okay. I’m not upset about it — I was for probably like 30 seconds. I said “you know what? Life is great. I’m alive, I’m still playing basketball in my 18th season. Who cares about a list who ain’t never bounces a basketball before?” Who cares?
It should be noted that both former and current NBA and WNBA players voted on the list, in addition to former coaches, general managers, league executives, sportswriters and broadcasters. But aside from that, Howard’s right: who cares?
Almost everyone outside of that panel seems to recognize that at his peak, he was one of the most dominant centers to play the game of basketball. Did he make a few enemies along the way? Absolutely! There was a rumor in 2017 that a few of his former teammates on the Atlanta Hawks cheered when he got traded! And let’s not forget that a majority Lakers fans hated him prior to his decision to come back in 2019!
But none of those things should take away from what he’s been able to accomplish as a player. Which, again, is a lot, and his career isn’t even over yet. Howard may not be on the list, but make no mistake: he’s one of the all-time greats.