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#pounditSunday, May 26, 2024

Dwight Howard unhappy with his team in Taiwan for cutting his pay

Dwight Howard looking on

Jan 15, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard (12) arrives at Toyota Center before a game against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Dwight Howard’s honeymoon phase in Taiwan appears to be over.

In an interview this week with TVBS News (a Taiwanese TV channel), the eight-time NBA All-Star Howard called out his team, the Taoyuan Leopards. Howard said that the Leopards offered him a contract for next season with a 65 percent reduction in pay (relative to his first season). He called it “very disrespectful” and “very disappointing.”

Howard also said in the interview that he is now eyeing a return to the NBA (but did leave open the possibility of playing another season in Taiwan).

According to Keoni Everington of the Taiwan News, Leopards CEO Chang Chien-wei said the contract offer for Howard was based on a new calculation method (involving escalators for the team winning as well as de-escalators for the team losing and for Howard himself not playing). Chien-wei also noted that Howard missed ten of the Leopards’ 30 games this season.

Howard, 37, was a difference-maker in the games he did play, averaging 23.2 points and 16.2 rebounds per game. But the Leopards as a whole had the worst record in the T1 League this season, going a fetid 6-24 (.200).

The ex-NBA Defensive Player of the Year Howard actually got a much larger contract from the Leopards this season than the T1 League usually allows for foreign players. He also really appeared to be loving life in Taiwan and was recruiting a number of high-profile basketball figures to join him there.

But earlier this week, Howard expressed interest in returning to the NBA (with one particular team). Now we have a better idea of why he had the sudden change of heart.

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