Dwight Howard torches Twitter hater

Dwight-Howard-RocketsHouston Rockets center Dwight Howard deals with more criticism than any player in the NBA, and most of it is well-deserved. Howard’s free agency adventures have shown us that he loves to be the center of attention and isn’t exactly the most humble superstar in the league. However, we have to give the big man credit for the way he roasted a hater on Twitter earlier this week.

On Tuesday evening, one of Howard’s followers tweeted at him to tell him she thought he would never win a championship ring. Rather than ignore the troll, Dwight pulled out an epic insult.

Boom, roasted. This is not the first time Howard has defended himself on Twitter, but it is easily his best comeback. There isn’t much the young lady can say in response to that. I’m certainly not his biggest fan, but I’d be lying if I said that didn’t make me laugh.

H/T The Score

Dallas Mavericks made superhero-themed video pitch to Dwight Howard

The Dallas Mavericks were unsuccessful in their effort to sign free agent Dwight Howard, but they put together a pretty cool video as part of their pitch to the center.

Mavs owner Mark Cuban wrote a lengthy blog post about the status of his team and reflected on how the past few years have gone for the franchise. In the blog post, Cuban discussed the team’s free agent meeting with Howard. Cuban says “[the Mavericks] believed we could make it work” with fitting Howard into the team’s culture, and he gave credit to Howard for being very smart and an excellent listener.

Cuban also shared the video the team played for Howard. The video is like an animated comic book story with Howard as a superhero. One cool part of the video shows the Mavericks sending out the bat signal to Howard, with the Mavs logo as the signal:

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Mark Cuban: Dallas Mavericks are better off without Dwight Howard

Dwight-Howard-RocketsThe Dallas Mavericks were one of the teams who were believed to be in the final running earlier this month as Dwight Howard weighed his options for the future. Once it became obvious Howard wasn’t going to return to Los Angeles, the Houston Rockets had to beat out the Mavs and the Golden State Warriors in the Dwight sweepstakes.

Mark Cuban is not crying over Dwight’s decision.

“I think we’ve put ourselves in a spot where we’re in a better spot than we were at if we got just the one max-out deal,” the Mavs owner told ESPNDallas.com on Wednesday night. “I think it’d be better shorter and longer term. I don’t want to make that sound the wrong way. I think we’ll be better this year because we added five good players or more.”

Signing Howard would have complicated things a bit for Dallas, but Cuban wanted him as badly as anyone else. The Mavs would have had to clear roster space by dumping one or two veterans, but it would have been well worth it for a 27-year-old All-Star who could have become the cornerstone of their franchise with Dirk nearing the end of his career.

“Obviously we didn’t get Dwight,” Cuban said. “We took a chance, and it didn’t happen. I think we put together a really good team. It sticks within the culture we’ve tried to define. We’ve dealt with some of the weaknesses we had from last year. Hopefully if we stay healthy, good things will happen.”

After missing out on Howard, the Mavericks turned their attention to guards Jose Calderon, Monta Ellis and Wayne Ellington as well as center Samuel Dalembert. All are valuable players, and signing Howard would not have given Dallas the ability to build that type of depth.

Cuban admitted he is “disappointed” the Mavs missed out on Dwight but said he’s glad they were able to land “much more” talent than they expected. Time will tell if the additions will be enough, but there’s no guarantee Howard would have been a fit. Cuban and company simply have to work with what they have.

Mike D’Antoni on Dwight Howard: Houston Rockets run the same offense I do

Dwight Howard LakersDwight Howard’s dislike of Mike D’Antoni’s offense is believed to be one of the biggest reasons why the center chose to leave the Los Angeles Lakers to sign with the Houston Rockets. Howard reportedly expressed frustration with D’Antoni’s offense and coaching methods in May, and he even admitted he wanted the Lakers to hire Phil Jackson as coach after firing Mike Brown in November.

On Tuesday, D’Antoni addressed Howard’s problems with him by making a fair point.

“The thing that cracks me up is Houston, they do the exact same thing,” D’Antoni told the LA Daily News while reportedly chuckling. “And so (Howard) is gonna go to Houston? OK, so did they talk about change there? Don’t tell me that it’s that different.

“He’s a force and he can be really, really good and dominate the league. But it’s in an area that he’s not loving right now. He wants to dominate a different way, in the low post and all that. But he needs to get better there, and he will. But his greatness is in defense and being a physical force. I think he’d be better served if he embraces that. But he’s good.”

[Related: Dwight Howard reportedly disliked Mike D'Antoni's system]

D’Antoni, who has admitted that he misused Howard and Pau Gasol, is referring to Houston coach Kevin McHale’s guard-heavy approach, which in some ways is similar to D’Antoni’s. That doesn’t mean the Rockets won’t do a better job of adapting their offense to suit Howard’s incredibly picky needs, but you can see the irony that D’Antoni is referring to.

Regardless of what went wrong, D’Antoni said he was as surprised by the lack of success as everyone else.

“Steve Nash and Dwight Howard on the pick and roll, and that’s what I do?” D’Antoni remembered thinking to himself when the Lakers hired him. “I just thought, ‘Boy, that’s gonna be a staple.’”

Now, Houston is hoping James Harden and Howard will be a deadly combination. While the Lakers tried desperately to keep the All-Star center, part of D’Antoni must be happy to see him go. In losing his center, he also lost a headache that likely would have become a migraine.

H/T Ball Don’t Lie

Will Dwight Howard actually try to learn from Hakeem Olajuwon?

Dwight-Howard-RocketsThe Houston Rockets announced on Monday that they are planning to bring back Hakeem Olajuwon for the first time since 2001 as a mentor for their interior players. We all know what that means — Olajuwom will be brought on board to work with Dwight Howard.

On paper, the move sounds like a no-brainer for the Rockets. Olajuwon is a two-time NBA Finals MVP and one of the greatest centers to ever play the game, so Howard should be able to soak up plenty by working with him throughout the summer.

“(Howard) has improved so much,” Olajuwon told Houston Chronicle, via FOX Sports Southwest. “I like with the Houston Rockets he will get a chance to show his true potential. That’s exciting. The last two years, he has not really been given that opportunity to really, really express his game, his comfort level and confidence. Here he has a team that is willing to do that. They want him to do that.”

Now, the question becomes how receptive Howard will be to the advice. When Dwight announced his decision to leave the Los Angeles Lakers, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar expressed doubt that he will actually be open to allowing Olajuwon to help him improve his game. In fact, Abdul-Jabbar claims Howard reached out to him about working together in LA but never followed up with it.

Howard is one of those players that does not want to be compared to anyone else. He didn’t want to be the next Shaq in LA and he won’t want to be the next Hakeem in Houston. He wants to be Dwight Howard. What he has to realize is that he can be Dwight Howard while allowing Hall of Famers to help him get better. If he changes his attitude and is more open to tutoring, the possibilities for the Rockets will be endless.

Little kid rips Shaq for disrespecting Dwight Howard, Houston Rockets (Video)

Little-Rockets-fan-rips-ShaqHouston Rockets fans have quickly forgotten the rough season Dwight Howard had with the Los Angeles Lakers last year. They are looking forward to the future with their new franchise cornerstone, and rightfully so. If you want to know how the city feels about its new addition, look no further than the fiery little fan you see in the video above from ABC 13.

Like many others, Shaquille O’Neal was critical of Howard for leaving LA. Shaq said that he expected Dwight to leave and that some guys can’t handle the bright lights, calling Houston a “safe little town.” The little dude at the 1:05 mark apparently heard every word Shaq said about his favorite team, and he didn’t like it one bit.

“Dwight Howard is the best center in the league,” he said while beating his chest. “Shaq, I wanna say one thing to you, don’t ever disrespect Houston like that again! Don’t ever disrespect Houston. H-town, baby!”

Game, set, match. Shaq shouldn’t even try firing back, because this kid has more swagger than any Rockets fan I’ve ever seen.

H/T The Big Lead

Dwight Howard admits Kobe Bryant was ‘very tough’ to play with

Dwight Howard Kobe BryantAnyone who watched the Los Angeles Lakers last season knows that Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard were far from being best friends. Howard and Kobe got along about as well as Bryant and Shaq got along during their time together, only the disagreements were magnified by the team’s lack of success.

During a recent conversation with ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, Howard admitted that he had a tough time playing with Kobe.

“Was it tough playing with Kobe? he said, per Pro Basketball Talk. “Yea, it was very tough. But playing along with Kobe didn’t have any parts of my decision going to Houston. I just felt like Houston was a better situation for me and my career. Me and Kobe, we had our disagreements, we had our moments. Everybody knows Kobe likes to score and there were times we would get at it about getting the ball. And that happens on a team.”

I don’t think there’s any question that Howard did not want to play with Kobe anymore. Kobe stated publicly that he wanted him to stay, but when it came down to it his sales pitch was pretty weak. One report even indicated Howard was looking for the Lakers to move past the Bryant era. However, Howard said he has no one to blame but himself for his lackluster performance on the court last season.

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