Dwight Howard has taken a huge fall from grace and it's been well documented at this point. Ever since he left Orlando there's always been a story of teammates and fans disliking him and just being happy to see Howard leave. After being traded from the Hawks to the Hornets, it seemed like there may have finally been a team where he just had a bad fit and nothing more.
That was until the most recent Lowe Post podcast featuring Kevin Arnovitz. Zach Lowe and Arnovitz discussed Howard and dropped in a tidbit about some of his former Atlanta teammates literally cheering when they found out he was leaving.
"I don't know what it is. No one has kind of gotten to the bottom of why. It can't just be the corny jokes -- and my god, does he tell the corniest jokes -- but I've heard multiple stories of Hawks players learning about the trade and screaming with jubilation into their phones.
"You ask why, and one account was that Dwight would give these speeches before the game about how everyone is playing hard, we want unity, we're going to… and then go out and play like a blah game where he demands post touches and doesn't rotate as hard as he could. And everyone is like, 'why are you speaking in the locker room?' But that's all anecdotal. It's just crazy how these stories come out after every stop in his career."
Howard wants to be accepted. Everybody knows that, but he's struggled to find that acceptance with stop after stop leading to stories of him being a problem internally and teammates disliking him. He's making efforts to return to the player he once was, and become more at peace with himself, but statements like this are incredibly discouraging toward him ever reaching that point.
Many people believe that Charlotte will be Howard's last chance to prove that he can still succeed in the NBA. He will never be the superstar he once was, but he's still a solid rim protector and rebounder. Put him in the pick and roll and he can still be capable on offense. The question is can Howard work through his problems off the court. That is what stands in his way toward success more than anything else.