What do you think of when you hear the name "Dwight Howard?" His three Defensive Player of the Year awards likely come to mind. So does his 2008 Dunk Contest victory. Generally speaking, he was at his best as a basketball player when he stayed close to the basket.
Which made it all the more surprising, then, to see Howard competing in the Taiwanese 3-Point Contest on Tuesday. And all things considered? Howard actually did fairly well. He started off slowly, making just a single attempt on the first two racks. But then got hot from there, making four of his five looks from the top of the arc and the second deep money ball, ultimately finishing with 15 points.
Dwight Howard entered the 3-point contest in Taiwan 👀pic.twitter.com/RYi5KjyHVe— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) March 1, 2023
If you're wondering why Howard is competing in a 3-point contest, remember that the Taiwanese League was founded in 2021, and that this was its first All-Star break. Howard, a former NBA star, is the sort of headliner that kind of event needs. He was grateful for the invitation.
"I just want to say thank you to all the fans here in Taiwan who voted for me and the rest of my teammates," Howard said in a social media post. "I really appreciate each and every one of you. I cannot wait to get to the All-Star Game to have fun and see all of you guys. Thank you, thank you so much."
All things considered, a 15-point showing is relatively impressive. That's better than both Julius Randle (13) and Kevin Huerter (8) did in Salt Lake City this season. You're not going to win the contest with 15, but Howard performed better than anyone could have hoped.
In the NBA, Howard attempted only 103 3-point shots across his entire career. He made 22 of them, but it was a shot he worked on before games and spoke publicly about adopting. His trainer, Justin Zormelo, famously told The Washington Post that Howard "wants to evolve into Anthony Davis, into Kevin Durant" in 2018. That never quite happened, but Howard is 10 of 38 from deep in Taiwan this season. He's been able to show off much more of his game while playing abroad, handling the ball far more frequently than he did in the NBA.
DWIGHT HOWARD attempted 10 THREES during his ridiculous debut in Taiwan— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) November 19, 2022
8/12 Free Throws
Howard is averaging 25.6 points per game for the Taoyuan Leopards. He is near the end of his basketball career, so he is soaking in every last opportunity the game continues to afford him. How many big men can even say they've ever competed in a 3-point contest? It's one last feather in Howard's cap.