LOS ANGELES, California – Dwight Howard, Los Angeles Lakers reserve center, expressed his personal disappointment when he was first excluded from the “NBA 75” anniversary team. Now, the free agent big man’s former All-Star teammate has defended him.
On previous events: Last year, the eight-time All-Star was not chosen for the team.
Jameer Nelson, a retired NBA point guard who played alongside Howard on an All-Star squad in 2009, In the NBA Finals, their Orlando Magic team would compete against Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom, and the rest of the Lakers, ultimately losing in five games.
The 6’0″ veteran engaged in a wide-ranging talk with Brandon “Scoop B” Robinson of Bally Sports Network, and when the conversation went to Howard’s exclusion from the NBA 75 squad in February, Nelson argued in favor of the inclusion of the 6’10” big man.
“A no brainer. Absolutely. It shouldn’t be a thing. He’s top 75 in my book, right? And he’s a Hall of Famer. I don’t understand how you CANNOT put him in those two categories. Nothing against anybody else who’s a Hall of Famer or who’s Top 75; I’m not either of those so I can comment on it all I want and I’m not being biased because he was my teammate and all that stuff — again, the dude got double teamed EVERY single night, you know what I’m sayin’? The dude was the anchor of the defense. He was the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year multiple times so the stats pretty much speak for themselves and I’m sure that he WILL be a Hall of Famer but, I definitely think that he should’ve been in that Top 75.” This was Nelson’s expert opinion on the matter.
The 75 greatest players in NBA history were honored on the league’s 75th anniversary list, which included Russell Westbrook, LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Anthony Davis, and four of Howard’s Lakers colleagues from last season. Given their successes as the stars of their respective clubs, James, Anthony, and Westbrook’s inclusion makes logical. However, Howard may end up having had a greater career than Davis, who is prone to injuries and who appears to be aging very quickly.
In the first round of the 2004 NBA draft, Orlando also selected Nelson from Saint Joseph’s along with Howard, who was the top pick. Before Howard, a three-time Defensive Player of the Year, was traded to the Lakers in the summer of 2012, the point guard played in the NBA for 14 seasons and spent eight of them with Howard in Orlando. Nelson would later don the uniform for the Detroit Pistons, Dallas Mavericks, Boston Celtics, Denver Nuggets, and New Orleans Pelicans. He hasn’t played since 2018.
Over the course of 1242 regular season games, Howard has averaged 15.7 points, 11.8 rebounds, 1.8 blocks, 1.3 assists, and 0.9 steals a game. He won three Defensive Player of the Year awards, was arguably the best center in the NBA for nearly a decade, and guided the Magic, Lakers, and Houston Rockets to numerous impressive postseason runs. After that, he became a role player for the Atlanta Hawks, Charlotte Hornets, and Washington Wizards. Back in Los Angeles, Howard. in the 2019–20 season and earned a title in a supporting role. All things considered, the championship was the icing on top of a wonderful career.
Yes, he has had conflicts of personalities with a variety of teammates and coaches, but that shouldn’t take away from the kind of success he had as one of the greatest low post two-way powers in history on the court. He most likely merited the position over Davis.
Nelson, a Chester, Pennsylvania native, is presently the Delaware Blue Coats’ deputy general manager for the Philadelphia 76ers’ NBA affiliate team.
On Dwight Howard
American professional basketball player Dwight David Howard II most recently competed for the National Basketball Association’s Los Angeles Lakers. He has won an NBA championship, been selected to eight All-Star teams, eight All-NBA teams, five All-Defensive teams, and three Defensive Player of the Year awards.
Born: December 8, 1985 (age 36 years), Atlanta, Georgia, United States
Height: 2.08 m
Weight: 120 kg
Current team: Los Angeles Lakers (#39 / Forward-center)
NBA draft: 2004 (Round: 1 / Pick: 1)