Dwight Howard is more Bizzaro than he is Superman

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I just can’t write enough about Dwight Howard lately; he provides so much fodder that inspires me to wield my internet pen.

Howard doesn’t inspire in the same way that Russell Westbrook, Steph Curry and Kyrie Irving get me excited to type on my keyboard, but more like… how do I say this… the exact opposite of it.

Instead of being in awe of Howard’s skill set or effort, his on-court behavior is so infuriating and his decisions are so mind-boggling that I actually am beginning to believe that there’s something wrong with Dwight; perhaps there’s impules he can’t control.

Game five of the Western Conference Finals was no less frustrating to watch. Howard put on a impressive display of bellyaching, whining, and lashing out.

Here’s a fine pass from Howard that he clearly overthrows Jason Terry and Josh Smith, yet finds a way to blame them for his miscue.

The stakes were high and Howard was focused (at least in the first quarter) so when things didn’t go his way, he was at his most petulant:

When (Howard) shot 41 percent from the free-throw line during the playoffs — one of the worst clips ever — he got chippy when Leandro Barbosa fouled him. Pathetic. When the NBA opted not to suspend him for Game 5 against the Warriors after an unnecessary and blatant foul from Game 4, he rewarded the league with a forearm shiver from a screen to Andre Iguodala in the waning moments of a loss.

To top it off, Howard received another technical foul last night, his seventh, which means that Howard would have automatically been suspended the next game. If the Rockets were to have won game five, that means Howard would have had to sit out game six. Back to the Huffington Post:

Think about that for a moment. This is not a one-time mistake. This is a trend for a star player masquerading as a superstar who clearly doesn’t value winning as much as he does serving his own personal interest: an inflated checkbook and a severely bruised ego.

And what an ego it is! During the post game interviews with the media, Howard shared this fantastical passage that could only be described as originating from Bizzaro World, the planet that Superman’s doppelganger and arch enemy Bizzaro:

I will continue to push myself to the limit and remember that no matter how the season ends, I am still a champion…”

When’s the next train back to Metropolis, Superman?

First off, you’re not a champion in this context. Your fans can talk about titles and awards and medals obtained in past competitions, but you’re being interviewed after your team lost the NBA conference finals, which is the series before the championship… of a league you’ve never won a championship in.

Secondly, anyone that’s played a sport in their life or has paid any attention to a Rockets game can see that Dwight Howard is not battling his heart out or pushing yourself to the limit.

dwight howard orlando magic houston rockets

If Howard were pushing himself to the limit, he’d have more post moves, hitting more free throws, blocking more shots, as well as NOT being out-rebounded by Steph Curry. Basically, Dwight Howard would be the next level center everyone predicted him to be eight years ago.

Basically, we’d have the Superman-Dwight Howard that was dominant in Orlando, instead we have Bizzaro-Dwight Howard of the Los Angeles Lakers and Houston Rockets.

A version of this post was originally published on Interbasket

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