Dwight Howard met with the media Thursday afternoon. Still very early in training camp, the 6’10” Center spoke for nearly 30minutes on a range of topics, including what it takes to win a championship.
What Advice Would You Give a 26-year-old version of Yourself?
When asked what advice he would give his younger self, Howard gave a very well thought out answer. “The best advice is really just not taking any moment for granted and really embracing everyone on the team really embracing a winning culture,” said Howard who comes to Philadelphia after winning his first championship in the Orlando Bubble as a Laker. “I think I’ve always wanted to win, but just embracing the culture of winning,” said Howard, who was a near-instant superstar when joining the league in 2004. He continued, “You know where nothing matters except the goal of winning the championship, just embracing it. It’s something that I really would have just told my younger self.”
The NBA career. It goes by fast, so enjoy every little moment, every day. Everything counts. And this year, I really got a chance to see that every little moment, you know matters.
“The NBA career, it goes by fast, so enjoy every little moment, every day.” Said Howard, who reached an NBA final in 2009 with Orlando. “Everything counts. And this year, I really got a chance to see that every little moment, you know, matters.” continued Howard, who had faced some questions around commitment and focus earlier in his career.
“I don’t take anything for granted with the young guys that we have. I can’t take any moment for granted. You never know what could happen in your NBA career.” Said Howard, who was reflective while also sharing wisdom, learned over 16 seasons in the NBA.
“And every moment you have to learn to be successful. And be around a great team in a great atmosphere. You have to stay in that moment. And hopefully, this year, those experiences that I’ve had, and also Danny (Green), Doc (Rivers), and some of the older vets know we can share that wisdom and knowledge to the younger guys.”
Howard said he does miss the fans in the arena. He said he takes the responsibility to impact someone who had never been to an NBA game before and might only see him play once, to heart. ” I will say that plan in front of fans is probably the best experience.” Said Howard, who went on. “For me, I always think it as some fans don’t get a chance” (to attend many games) “so they might not get a chance to see me play in person.”
Howard was reflective in saying, “What would be their last impression of me? Somebody who goes out there and gives it all out every single night or somebody worried about minutes shots to touches?” He continued, “how do I want to be remembered by that little kid? As a “Basketball player that wants to get to the next level, how would I be remembered?” Said Howard, “So that’s usually my motivation; I do appreciate the fans, even the boos, all of the talking trash. I think that kind of drives me to keep going forward.”