Chat Transcript: Dwight Howard
After facing Howard this season, Tim Duncan said, "He is so developed. He doesn't look like a 19 or 20-year-old. He has so much promise and I am just glad that I will be out of the league when he is peaking."
Kevin Garnett recently echoed Duncan's sentiments after the Magic paid a visit to Minneapolis.
"That kid (Howard) is a freak of nature, man," Garnett said. "I don't know what they put in the milk these days for these young kids, but that kid is a freak of nature. I was nowhere near that physically talented. I wasn't that gifted, as far as body and physical presence."
Dwight's numbers speak for themselves. He averages 15.5 ppg, 12.3 rpg (2nd in league) and has a double-double in 53 games (as of April 4). In November, Howard pulled down 21 points and 20 rebounds against Charlotte - making him the youngest player in NBA history to record a 20-20 game.
The 20-year-old, who was also recently invited to participate for Team USA this summer, has become quite a star in Orlando and his fan base seems to go larger by the day. On Tuesday, Dwight chatted live with his fans on orlandomagic.com. Check out what the rising star had to say about the recent winning streak, his long-term plans and much more.
Drew (Manalapan, NJ): hey Dwight big fan ... is there something that you attribute to this sudden nack for winning?? keep up the good work
Dwight Howard: I think it's just hard work. It's the fact we're a young team, trying to prove something as a unit, and as individuals and we're having a fun time doing it.
Michael Ballough (Orlando): Your Magic have recently knocked off the Mavs, Pistons, and Heat, are these wins fueled by the prospect of the playoffs, or is simply being the spoiler your motivation?
Dwight Howard: I think it's just general motivation. We realize the playoffs is a longshot, but we still need to go out every night and give the fans what they deserve, hard work and commitment to playing good solid basketball in order to win as many games as possible.
San Juan Puerto Rico: What up DH? How has the chemistry changed after the trade? Have Carlos and dark made and impact on the way the team chemistry was to the way it is now? I have a lot more but I will leave it to these two. Well take care and good luck in making the playoff I will be rooting for the magic to have a magical ending.
Dwight Howard: Our chemistry was good, we liked eachother and treated eachother as family members already. Then, when Carlos and Darko came in, we just added them to our family and embraced them. They're friends and they're helping us on the court too.
Craig (Minneapolis): Hey Dwight! What's the hardest part about making the jump from HS to the NBA?
Dwight Howard: The hardest part was the mental part. Physically, God gave me the talent. I also have a great coaching staff and a weight-training coach. So, based on that, the bigger challenge is the mental part, playing 82 games. You have ups and downs. And sometimes the media will say you are doing this wrong or that wrong. Also you have some fatigue to deal with. So it's being mentally strong to overcome those obstacles and stay sharp for the tough competition we have every night in the NBA.
Sam (Rockwood): hey Dwight. I wanted to know, what is it like coming right out of high school and adjusting the the NBA? Were your parents on your side about not going to college or were they supportive? Thanks, Sam
Dwight Howard: My parents wanted me to go to college, but they knew my dream was go from high school directly to the NBA. So, they fully supported me in realizing that dream. They knew it was my goal. But they also hope I will go to college too and work on that and get an education. They are OK with me developing my skills as a basketball player, but they also remind me to develop my educational skills too and they want me to work on that too.
Eric Doan ( Orlando): Which NBA player inspired you as a kid to play pro ball?
Dwight Howard: Kevin Garnett. All the things he did, coming out of high school and being a young big man who excelled in the league. He was a real inspiration to me and I want to try and be even better than he is.
scott(gainsville): Hey Dwight! How do you like playing for Brian Hill? Congrats on the winning streak!
Dwight Howard: Thanks for the well wishes. I like playing for Coach Hill. There's a lot of "tough love" and he gets on me alot, it's because he believes in me and wants to push me to reach my potential. I look forward to continuing working with him and winning a few championships together.
Marc in Orlando: Hey Dwight soooo glad to have you on our side! Here is a question just for fun. If you could dunk on 1 of your teammates in a game who would it be and why that teammate?
Dwight Howard: Hmmm. I've dunked on all them in practice! Ha-ha. (Laughing). But in a game, I'd love to dunk on Bo Outlaw!
Grenoble (France): What's your game needs to improve to become an all-star ?
Dwight Howard: Just the whole game. Shooting, rebounding, strength, conditioning. I need to work on my overall game. I think I'm off to a good start, but I have work to do to get to the right level. I'd like to get better with my jump shot, and I'd also like to not turn the ball over so much when I'm double-teamed. Those are two specific things, along with developing my entire game at a higher level.
Ralph (St Albans, England): Hey D12, I was wondering did you have a nickname while playing high school basketball? thanks
Dwight Howard: Actually I had alot of them. But mostly D-Bo, we had to change it up from D-Ho, that didn't work that good in school, D-Ho, we had to change that up.
Joi (Atlanta): When you are not on the court, what do you like to do for fun?
Dwight Howard: For fun? Ha-ha (Laughing) I have to wait for the offseason for that. I like to bowl and I have two dogs I like. I go to the movies or Disneyworld. But mostly, I go bowling.
Rafael Orlando: Dwight, because of your recent commitment to an extension, I'm making my commitment to renew my season tickets. You've created a buzz in this town that hasn't been here for a very long time. Can you see yourself in an Orlando Magic uniform for the long term?
Dwight Howard: I do see myself in the Magic uniform for the long term. The Magic showed faith in me by drafting me No. 1 right out of high school and signing me to an extension. I'd like to pay them back by staying here my whole career. And hopefully my sidekick, Jameer Nelson, will be here with me all that time too!
Dwight Howard: Thanks for joining me today for my chat. I had a lot of fun and I hope you'll keep supporting me and the Orlando Magic.