Why Dwight Howard was major snub on NBA 75 list — and which players he could have replaced


After the total NBA 75 (well, 76) list was revealed on Thursday evening, there gave the impression to be a standard sentiment being shared on Twitter.

“Hey, I’m not a Dwight Howard fan, but come on now.”

TOP 75 PEAKS IN NBA HISTORY: 75-51 | 50-26 | 25-11 | 10-1

The veteran middle was arguably the biggest snub on the NBA’s seventy fifth anniversary workforce, which was chosen by a panel of media members, present and former players, coaches and workforce executives. These lists are at all times extremely subjective, nevertheless it’s tough to formulate an affordable argument as to why Howard did not make the reduce.

Dwight Howard’s case for the NBA 75 list

Let’s begin with Howard’s resume. He is a three-time Defensive Player of the Year, five-time All-Defensive choice, eight-time All-Star and eight-time All-NBA choice. He has profession averages of 16.2 factors (58.6 % taking pictures), 12.1 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per recreation, however these numbers embody the model of Howard that has come off the bench and performed restricted minutes.

During his prime Magic years (2006-07 by 2011-12), Howard posted 20.0 factors (59.2 % taking pictures), 13.6 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per recreation. He was Orlando’s franchise cornerstone, main the workforce to 50-plus wins in 4 straight common seasons (2007-08 by 2010-11) and an NBA Finals look in 2009. Howard wasn’t simply essentially the most dominant massive man on the time — he was additionally a relentless a part of the NBA MVP dialogue, ending within the prime 5 in MVP voting 4 occasions. He was second to solely Derrick Rose in 2010-11.

After he left Orlando, Howard was nonetheless a power within the paint. He averaged a double-double for 14 consecutive seasons, tied with Charles Barkley and Moses Malone for the longest streak in league historical past. Remember that 2014 playoff sequence between the Rockets and Trail Blazers that ended with Damian Lillard’s buzzer-beater? Howard put up a ridiculous 26.0 factors, 13.7 rebounds and 2.8 blocks per recreation. Houston reached the Western Conference finals the subsequent season, however sadly for the Rockets, that was the beginning of the Warriors’ dynasty.

Even if you wish to focus on late-career Howard, it needs to be famous that he crammed an essential position on a championship workforce in 2019-20. LeBron James and Anthony Davis have been essentially the most vital items on that Lakers roster, however Howard’s willingness to do the soiled work mattered.

Why did not Dwight Howard make the NBA 75 list?

Look, placing these lists collectively is difficult. Some voters could have really felt that Howard did not deserve a spot on the seventy fifth anniversary workforce as a result of he will not be one of many 75 biggest players of all time. Again, extremely subjective.

With that mentioned, it is exhausting to think about that Howard’s reputation did not at the least enter the minds of the voters on the panel. He left Orlando quite unceremoniously. He clashed with Kobe Bryant in Los Angeles. James Harden did not like him, both. He declared that he wanted to end his career with the Hawks, Hornets and Wizards, then lasted just one season with every workforce. He tells incredibly corny jokes. Oh, and he had a dumb beef with Shaquille O’Neal for approach too lengthy.

FS1’s Nick Wright put it in fundamental phrases, saying on “First Things First” that the list is “too much like the cool kids’ table at lunch rather than the most prestigious group in NBA history.”

“He didn’t get on the list because Shaq’s made fun of him for a decade and because people don’t like him,” Wright mentioned. “It’s unfair. And that is, without question, the biggest indictment on the list as a whole.”

Who ought to Dwight Howard have replaced on the NBA 75 list?

The rule is that, if you wish to put any individual on the list, you have to take somebody off. There are quite a few players who do not possess an equal or higher resume than Howard, however two picks from the trendy period stand out: Anthony Davis and Damian Lillard.

Lillard has been terrific over practically a decade in Portland. He will possible go down as the best Trail Blazer of all time and a Hall of Famer. However, he solely has six All-NBA picks to his identify at this stage in his profession (one First Team, 4 Second Team, one Third Team). He has additionally by no means reached the NBA Finals. Perhaps voters thought of his future manufacturing, however as of proper now, it is a no-contest in favor of Howard.

The Davis vs. Howard argument is extra attention-grabbing, nevertheless it’s one which Howard ought to nonetheless win. Davis may even find yourself within the Hall of Fame in the future, however he cannot presently match what Howard has achieved. It’s price declaring that Davis solely gained one playoff sequence with the Pelicans earlier than becoming a member of James on the Lakers.

Accolade / Stat Howard Davis
All-Star 8 8
All-NBA 8 4
First Team All-NBA 5 4
All-Defensive 5 4
Defensive Player of the Year 3 0
Points (profession) 19,118 13,496
Rebounds (profession) 14,277 5,780
Blocks (profession) 2,192 1,325
Rebounds chief (seasons) 5 0
Blocks chief (season) 2 3
NBA championships 1 1

This is to not dismiss Davis or Lillard. They have been each candidates price discussing, and if the league unveils an NBA 100 list in the future, they are going to be on it.

When it comes all the way down to it, although, Howard ought to have been on this list. He wasn’t — most likely due to issues that have nothing to do with basketball.

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