Dwight Howard doesn’t think that this year’s NBA Champion should have an asterik next to their name.
“Whoever wins this year, they deserve a championship because this is the hardest season of the NBA,” Howard said today via Instagram Live.
“Nobody can put an asterik on it.”
“Whoever wins for real, I can speak it to extistence, this is going to be the toughest NBA season.”
The coronavirus pandemic halted NBA basketball play on March 11.The NBA will resume play on July 30 at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.
22 NBA Teams will compete to fill the league’s 16-NBA playoff spots in both the NBA’s Eastern and Western Conferences with the NBA Finals expected to finish no later than October 13.
Howard’s Lakers currently sit at 49-14 and in first place in the NBA’s Western Conference standings.
Howard signed with the Lakers via free agency last summer after a freak injury to DeMarcus Cousins made a roster spot available.
Now in his second stint with the Los Angeles Lakers this season, Dwight Howard, 34, is averaging 7.5 points, 7.4 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per contest for the purple and gold.
An 8-time NBA All-Star, Howard was the first pick in the 2004 NBA Draft by the Orlando Magic. Howard, an Olympic gold medalist, made a trip to the 2009 NBA Finals where the Magic were defeated by the Kobe Bryant-led Lakers.
Howard is a five-time All-Defensive Team member, Howard has won the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year Award three times, and he’s also an NBA Slam Dunk Contest winner.
Howard has been vocal all week. He spoke his peace about the death of Breonna Taylor. “The people who did the heinous incident against her are still free,” Howard said yesterday during the Lakers’ Zoom call availability.
“They’re out there living their best life, and I think, instead of worrying about if I have my mask on or not, I think that’s something that we should be discussing. Why haven’t these people been brought in? Why haven’t they’ve been charged with anything, or even arrested for what they’ve done? So, instead of the topics being about, you know, who’s not wearing the mask in the bubble, who was at the DJ party, who wasn’t — all these things seem entertaining, but we’re not going to forget about what’s going on around our world.”
He also said he’s focused on his role with the Lakers in the NBA bubble. “Let’s not forget why we’re here,” he said.
“We’re going to use our platform to discuss the things that we want to talk about, not the entertainment of masks and who’s not wearing it. But I do appreciate people wanting to know. But that is something that is still been on my mind. Despite us being here, what’s going on in our world around us. We’re not going to allow anything to distract us from the topics that needs to be discussed.”