Dwight Howard says he almost retired from the NBA after the 2014-15 season

Once the most dominant big man in the league, Dwight Howard's career took a sharp turn for the worse once he left the Orlando Magic. Injuries hampered him on the floor, and he clashed off the floor with various players and management on his new teams. 

Things did not work out at all during his one season with the Los Angeles Lakers, and he wasn't much happier with his next move to join the Houston Rockets

In fact, Howard told Lee Jenkins that things got so bad after the 2014-15 season -- his second year with Houston -- that he considered retiring and walking away from the game. Via Sports Illustrated: 

At a low point with the Rockets, after the 2014–15 season, he considered retiring. The jolly giant who supposedly had too much fun on the floor was miserable. "The joy," Howard says, "was sucked out of it." But what would retirement accomplish? He had to change his life regardless of his occupation. So he did what his teenage self would have done. He saw a pastor.

Calvin Simmons has ministered to hundreds of professional athletes in the past decade, including Adrian Peterson, so he is familiar with dramatic falls from grace. "Dwight had gone from the darling of the NBA to the black sheep," Simmons says. "He realized he had done some things wrong and needed to change, but at the beginning he just wanted to share."

Of course, Howard did not end up retiring, but things haven't exactly gotten easier for him on the court. 

Most recently, the Atlanta Hawks gave up on him just one year into a three-year, $70M deal, sending him to Charlotte this summer for some role players.   

NBA Writer

Jack Maloney lives and writes in Milwaukee, where, like the Bucks, he is trying to own the future. Full Bio

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