Wizards are getting 'the best version' of Dwight Howard

Josh Luckenbaugh
July 24, 2018 - 9:57 am

Twitter: @WashWizards

Many people in NBA circles have characterized Dwight Howard as a gifted big man who causes headaches in the locker room.

But according to Howard himself, he's a model citizen who has the potential to play the best basketball of his career with the Wizards. 

On 106.7 The Fan's Grant & Danny Monday, Howard downplayed the off-the-court concerns, making it clear he's solely focused on helping Washington win.

"I really don’t focus too much about what has been said," Howard said. "A lot of times, you can’t control what other people say about you. But I just try to control my character. And I’m a guy of high character, so I don’t focus on any of the negative things that happen."

"But I’m looking forward to being here in D.C., I think this is gonna be a great opportunity for our team to be very successful. Playing with a great point guard, great shooting guard, a really good coach, and a really good bench and some really talented players. So I think we’re gonna have an unbelievable year, and for me it’s all about winning."

Howard's accolades speak for themselves: eight-time All-Star, eight-time All-NBA and three-time Defensive Player of the Year, to go along with career averages of 17.4 points, 12.7 rebounds and two blocks per game. 

Nonetheless, the 32-year old insists the best is yet to come. 

"I think all the fans here in D.C. are gonna get the best version of myself," Howard told Grant & Danny. "I intend to dominate, and I intend to provide this team with great physicality and leadership on a different level."

"It’s gonna be the same as it was in Orlando ... I felt the last couple years I haven’t been healthy as I have been now. You mix that in with the knowledge that I have for the game, and what I know how to do on the floor offensively and defensively, you’re gonna have a player that’s better than the version of Orlando."

Howard last played in Orlando in 2011-12, when his reputation was much different around the league. It was more focused on Howard being at the height of his game, and far less about his relationship with teammates.

It's only right to be skeptical, especially given how Howard's last few stops have gone. But if Howard proves good to his word, the Wizards have a chance to be one of the top teams in the East. 

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