Dwight Howard hasn’t lost any confidence since leaving the NBA, even when comparing himself to two-time league MVP Nikola Jokic.
— FanDuel TV (@FanDuelTV) May 29, 2023
Asked by Chandler Parsons to choose between “prime Jokic” and “prime Dwight Howard,” the big man naturally chose himself.
“Oh, prime Dwight Howard, all day, all day, every day,” he said. “I’m dominating every play with a smile on my face. Yeah, yeah, I’m here. I’m here. Yes, yes, yes, I’m taking prime Dwight all day.”
Jokic just helped the Denver Nuggets reach the NBA Finals for the first time. After sweeping the Los Angeles Lakers to win the Western Conference Finals, the Nuggets are waiting to see if they will face the Boston Celtics or Miami Heat next. That series will end with Game 7 on Monday, with Game 1 of the NBA Finals set for Thursday.
Jokic failed to win his third straight MVP award when Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers was announced as the winner this season. Jokic finished second in voting after averaging 24.5 points, 11.8 rebounds and 9.8 assists per game during the regular season. In these playoffs, those numbers have improved to 29.9 points, 13.3 rebounds and 10.3 assists per game.
Howard was a 2020 NBA champion with the Lakers. A three-time Defensive Player of the Year, he holds career averages of 15.7 points, 11.8 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game in the NBA.
The 37-year-old played this season in Taiwan. He recently said that even though he likes playing international basketball, he would like to finish his career in the NBA and pursue another championship.
Howard has been popping up elsewhere in NBA circles recently, trying to get LeBron James and other NBA stars to join him overseas. It seems like the veteran is enjoying himself at this stage of his basketball career.
Howard did play last season for the Lakers but was not in the NBA this season. After a three-season stint with the Houston Rockets ended in 2016, he started bouncing around, playing one season each for the Atlanta Hawks, Charlotte Hornets, Washington Wizards, Lakers, Philadelphia 76ers and Lakers again.
Jokic is playing his eighth NBA season and undoubtedly would be up for any challenge Howard may provide if he comes back to the league.