Dwight Howard—team-killer, corny joke maker, toxic locker-room presence, and general oaf—signed with the Washington Wizards a few weeks ago, his fourth team in four seasons. The market for him in free agency was quite small, and yet he somehow landed on the team with players who aren’t all fond of each other. Maybe they’ll all unite in their hatred of Dwight. Oddly enough, Howard claimed that in addition to the Wizards, he’d ginned up interest from the defending champs.
From NBC Sports Washington:
“Golden State called and I thought about them. But once John [Wall] sent me that message, I was like man. I couldn’t tell him at first, but I was like ‘man, I’m going to be a Wizard.’ That was my mindset,” he said.
Perhaps the Warriors saw Howard as the backup to the backup plan, but would a dynasty so meticulously built on its cohesive team culture really seriously consider bringing in an oversized child with a history of ego problems? Unclear. The New York Times’ Marc Stein reported before free agency began that the Warriors insisted they were not pursuing Howard, despite the fact that he was reportedly “very interested” in joining them. The most the Warriors could have offered the big man was the one-year, taxpayer mid-level exception at $5.3 million that they eventually gave the younger and more competent DeMarcus Cousins. Howard got two years, $11 million from Washington. John Wall probably wasn’t the difference.
It seems like a missed opportunity that the Dubs didn’t sign the fart-joke connoisseur. Imagine Howard and Draymond Green trying to tolerate each other as teammates—even the practices would’ve been appointment viewing. Howard could’ve tried out his phony buddy routine on head coach Steve Kerr like he did on then-Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy. (That video has excellent replay value.) Honestly, the Warriors signing Howard would’ve been the best shot at getting a different Western Conference team to the NBA Finals next season. The Houston Rockets couldn’t do as much damage to the Warriors as that guy.