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When the NBA released its 75th Anniversary Team late last month, one of the most notable names absent from the list was current Lakers big man Dwight Howard. Though he has Hall of Fame-worthy credentials and more hardware than Lowe’s, Howard was curiously left off the list. He said the omission was because of “politics” and that he deserved to make the list.
Dwight Howard on being left off NBA 75: "I knew I wasn't going to be on it." 👀
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) November 10, 2021
Speaking with Taylor Rooks of Bleacher Report, Howard seemed less than surprised to be excluded from the NBA’s exclusive club.
“I knew I wasn’t going to be on it,” said Howard.
“Politics. I already knew. I knew. As soon as they made a 75 list, I said, ‘Yeah, they ain’t gonna put me on the 75 list. I might as well forget about it.'”
The “politics” to which Howard refers are likely the NBA naysayers who have questioned Howard’s commitment and likability as a teammate throughout his 18 pro seasons. And Howard has a legitimate gripe. His accolades are as good or better than plenty of players in the Top 75. He’s been named Defensive Player of the Year three times, an All-Star eight times and was named to the All-NBA First Team on five occasions.
Even casual fans of the NBA would find a way to wedge Howard into the locker room of 75th Anniversary Team, though he’s not bothered by the snub.
“I most definitely should be on that list, but it’s okay. It is so okay. I’m not upset about it — I was for probably like 30 seconds,” Howard told Rooks. “I said, ‘You know what? Life is great. I’m alive. I’m still playing basketball in my 18th season. Who cares about a list who ain’t never bounces a basketball before? Who cares?'”
One team he did make, the 2021 Los Angeles Lakers, are off to a 7-5 start. Howard’s contributing around four points and five boards for them each game.
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