Last season, Dwight Howard was subjected to criticism for his lack of consistency from the line, and of course, his abysmal outing during the NBA Finals. With Kobe being Kobe, he — and the Lakers — shattered the Magic’s hope of earning their first NBA title.
Still, Superman wasn’t deterred by the loss. In D-Wade fashion, Dwight acknowledged if you fall seven times, you have to get up eight — and that’s what he and the Magic intend to do this upcoming season.
BallerStatus was able to speak to Dwight for a quick conversation to get his insight for this year’s season.
BallerStatus.com: Dwight, last year, your team suffered heartbreak in the Finals, losing to the Lakers in 5. How do you try to overcome the adversity, and come back to win this year?
Dwight Howard: Well this year, we’re going to try to have a different outcome to make it to the Finals. Our goal is to win a championship, and I’m going to do whatever I can to help my team get back to that moment. And hopefully, the outcome — definitely like I said — the experience, the journey, and everything that I went through last season is something that I’ll never forget.
BallerStatus.com: With the addition of Vince Carter, and the lost of Hedo Turkoglu, people have said the lost of Hedo’s leadership may cause some chemistry issues. What do you think Vince could bring to the table to balance that?
Dwight Howard: Vince is one of those guys that we’re looking for to just be aggressive on both ends of the floor. We’re hoping he could do that offensively and defensively. I think he’s going to just put us in another group throughout this season. I mean, we’ve added Matt Barnes, who is a great defender. We’ve added Brandon Bass — he’s a horse in the paint. We have guys here, I believe, could help get us get to the next level.
BallerStatus.com: Even though you’re considered the premiere center in the league, on several occasions, you’ve admitted that you don’t believe you’re quite there. Why do you believe you’re not 100% there?
Dwight Howard: I don’t still think I’m quite there. I know I have a long way to go. I’m still young, I’m still learning the game of basketball, and it’s just a matter of time before I believe I hit my peak. I mean, as of right now, I’m still just learning basketball. I’m 23, and I have a long way to go.
BallerStatus.com: Since I’m pressed for time, Dwight before I go, what team do you play with in the new NBA Live (which he’s the cover athlete for)?
Dwight Howard: The Magic of course! Who else am I supposed to play with? (laughs)
BallerStatus.com: I’m just saying man, I don’t think it’s fair with you dunking all the time.
Dwight Howard: (laughs) Nah, I let Jameer [Nelson] do the dunking. I shoot all the threes.
BallerStatus.com: I appreciate the time, Dwight. Good luck this season.
Dwight Howard: No problem. Thanks for having me.