Thursday, December 2

Why Dwight Howard was a big snub on the NBA 75 roster as which players he could have replaced

After the full roster for NBA 75 (well, 76) was revealed Thursday night, there seemed to be a common sentiment being shared on Twitter.

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

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

The veteran center was arguably the biggest snub on the NBA’s 75th anniversary team, which was selected by a panel of media members, current and former players, coaches and team executives. These lists are always very subjective, but it is difficult to make a reasonable argument as to why Howard did not make the cut.

Dwight Howard’s case for the NBA 75 roster

Let’s start with Howard’s resume. He is a three-time Defensive Player of the Year, five-time defensive selection, eight-time All-Star and eight-time NBA selection. He has career averages of 16.2 points (58.6 percent shooting), 12.1 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game, but those numbers include the version of Howard who came off the bench and played limited minutes.

During his best years at Magic (2006-07 through 2011-12), Howard recorded 20.0 points (59.2 percent shooting), 13.6 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game. He was the cornerstone of the Orlando franchise, leading the team to more than 50 wins in four consecutive regular seasons (2007-08 to 2010-11) and an NBA Finals appearance in 2009. Howard wasn’t just the big man. most dominant at the time – He was also a constant part of the NBA MVP discussion, finishing in the top five in Most Valuable Player voting four times. He was second only to Derrick Rose in 2010-11.

After he left Orlando, Howard was still a force in painting. The average a double-double for 14 consecutive seasons, tied with Charles Barkley and Moses Malone for the longest streak in league history. Remember that 2014 playoff series between the Rockets and Trail Blazers that ended with Damian Lillard’s buzzer-beater? Howard had a ridiculous 26.0 points, 13.7 rebounds and 2.8 blocks per game. Houston reached the Western Conference finals next season, but unfortunately for the Rockets, that was the beginning of the Warriors’ dynasty.

Even if you want to focus on Howard, who is at the end of his career, it should be noted that he played a significant role on a championship team in 2019-20. LeBron James and Anthony Davis were the biggest pieces on the Lakers roster, but Howard’s willingness to do the dirty work mattered.

Why didn’t Dwight Howard make the NBA’s 75 list?

Look, putting together these lists is a challenge. Some voters may have actually felt that Howard did not deserve a spot on the 75th anniversary team because he is not one of the top 75 players of all time. Again, very subjective.

That being said, it’s hard to imagine that Howard’s reputation at least it didn’t enter the minds of the voters on the panel. He left Orlando unceremoniously. He faced Kobe Bryant in Los Angeles. James Harden didn’t like him either. He stated that he he wanted to finish his degree with the Hawks, Hornets and Wizards, then he lasted only one season with each team. He says incredibly cheesy jokes. Oh, and had some dumb meat with Shaquille O’Neal for too long.

FS1’s Nick Wright put it in basic terms, saying about “First things first” that the list is “too much like the table of great kids at lunch instead of the most prestigious group in NBA history.”

“He didn’t make the list because Shaq made fun of him for a decade and because people don’t like him,” Wright said. “It’s unfair. And that’s, hands down, the biggest indictment on the list as a whole.”

Who should Dwight Howard have replaced on the NBA 75 roster?

The rule is that if you want to put someone on the list, you have to remove someone. There are several players who do not have a résumé equal to or better than Howard, but two selections of the modern era stand out: Anthony Davis and Damian Lillard.

Lillard has been fantastic for almost a decade in Portland. He will probably go on to be the greatest Trail Blazer of all time and a Hall of Famer. However, he only has six All-NBA picks to his name at this stage in his career (one first team, four second teams, one third team). Nor has he ever reached the NBA Finals. Perhaps voters considered its future production, but as of this point, this is not a contest in favor of Howard.

Davis’s argument against Howard is more interesting, but Howard should still win. Davis will also finish in the Hall of Fame one day, but currently he cannot match what Howard has accomplished. It’s worth noting that Davis only won one playoff series with the Pelicans before joining James on the Lakers.

Recognition / StatisticsHowardDavis
All-NBA First Team54
All Defensive54
Defensive Player of the Year30
Points (race)19,11813,496
Rebounding (running)14,2775,780
Blocks (race)2,1921,325
Rebounding Leader (Seasons)50
Block Leader (Season)23
NBA Championships11

This is not to rule out Davis or Lillard. Both were candidates worth discussing, and if the league comes up with an NBA 100 list one day, they will be on it.

However, when it comes down to it, Howard should have been on this list. It wasn’t, probably because of things that have nothing to do with basketball.

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