Chat Transcript: Dwight Howard

Dwight chatted with fans on Tuesday.
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Dwight Howard made his mark when he was selected as the first pick in the 2004 NBA draft, but now the rookie is making his name known with his talent. Howard, who has pulled in double-digit rebounds in each of his first nine games in the league, currently ranks an impressive fifth in the NBA in rebounds with 11.4 per game, tops among first-year players.

The Atlanta, Ga., native has been a success his whole life on the court, pulling in, among others, the 2004 Naismith Award for the nation's top high school player and Georgia's Mr. Basketball honors this spring as a senior at Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy.

When he is not on the court, however, Howard enjoys watching basketball videos, including "The Complete Michael Jordan," and imitating his favorite characters from the movie "Finding Nemo."

On Nov. 30 Howard will dropped in to a live chat on orlandomagic.com. See what he had to say about his rookie year and much much more.


Matt (Brecksville): Hey Dwight! What was your first reaction when u found out u were the #1 pick in the draft?

Dwight Howard: My first reaction was, "Wow! Thank God I finally made it." And I was happy to be going to Orlando.


Dan Schmidt, Edina: What's the biggest difference between playing in high school and playing in the pros?

Dwight Howard: I would say the biggest difference is the size of the players you face every night. And the physical play in the NBA. And also the mental toughness that it takes to play in the NBA.


Hakim Osman: What goals have you set for yourself during your so far stellar rookie year, and what advice are you getting from older players?

Dwight Howard: My goals are to dominate every practice and every game, and to just play hard every time I step on the court to try and help my team get into the playoffs.


Dwayne(Austin, TX): How have you adjusted to the travel schedule of the NBA?

Dwight Howard: So far, it's been OK. In high school my team traveled alot and my AAU team traveled alot. We had some big trips with those teams, and so far it's looking good in the NBA too.


Ryan Mears: Hey Dwight, I'm an Orlando resident and I just wanted to know, what do you miss most about high school in general?

Dwight Howard: I miss sitting in class and goofing off sometimes, just having fun. Everything now is all business but when I was in high school it was more about having fun.


Matt (Norwalk, CT): Dwight, congragulations on a great start of your NBA career. IF you did not go straight into the league from high school, what college would you have gone to?

Dwight Howard: The colleges I thought about were UNC and Georgia Tech and Duke.


Zachary (Orlando): What do you think of Emeka Okafur? Do you guys have a freindly rivalry? Have you talked to him since the draft?

Dwight Howard: I think he's a great person and we are both striving to be great players. He's a wonderful person on and off the court. I'd be happy to play against him for as long as our careers allow us to.


matt(nyc): whats it like playing on a team with so many roster changes during the off season... has this group meshed well?

Dwight Howard: I think we've meshed well so far. We are all in the position where we want to prove something. Each of us is trying to play our hardest every night and we always push each other in practice. We all want to prove that we are good players and a good team and that is helping us mesh as a unit, having that same goal, along with winning games.


Kevin (Atlanta): What was it like playing against your old AAU teammate Josh Smith

Dwight Howard: That was fun. We've always loved playing against each other. Sometimes I see him dunk and do his thing. We've known each other since pre-school and it's a great opportunity to get on the court and play against him. I'm really glad we both got the chance to get into the NBA and show our stuff.


John Slattery ( Belpre, Ohio ): Dwight, My son & I met you after your home opener with Milwaukee. Great game to start off your career. You are a class act. Our question is who were your favorite players while you were in high school and what player did you try to mold your game after?

Dwight Howard: KG has always been my favorite player, I look up to him the most. I've tried to pattern my game on him.


Brossard: Hey Dwight, this is Ahmed. I was wondering what encouraged you of starting to play basketball?

Dwight Howard: I started playing when I was three-years-old. I've always tried to strive to be the best, from a very young age, even when I was playing with older guys, which I've been doing since I was young. I think that helps you improve as a player.


Mathias(Beckley): You are one od the best rebounders in the league. Did you think you would make an impact on this team as rookie?

Dwight Howard: I would say that we all have different roles on this team, and my role is to rebound and play good defense. That's my role. When I was in high school I did everything, but so far here, I am being relied on to rebound the ball and defend. Rebounding has always come naturally to me, and I'm happy to do it and help the Orlando Magic win ballgames.


Cliff (Orlando): hey D Howard, great season so far for not only you but the Magic as well. I know you spend most of your time playing basketball, but what do you do in Orlando when you have free time?

Dwight Howard: I like to catch a movie. Chill at home with my cousins, play Playstation, watch movies.


billy , orlando: hey howard.what part of your game do you wish to improve the most over then next 3 seasons?

Dwight Howard: Just my overall game. I want to polish up everything. I want to improve on everything you do on the court. As a rookie you have to be patient and work on the things that you need to do to get the minutes and help your team win, and I hope to expand on that as my career continues.


Ido Shazkin (Israel): Hi Dwight as an orlando fan it upsets me to see how the media ignores orlando and see's only Detroit\Indiana\Miami as teams who can go far in the east. do you think orlando can compete for the nba title this year or the next 2-3 years?

Dwight Howard: I wouldn't count us out. We have a lot to prove, as I said earlier, and we are going to try our best to get to that level. I'd love to play for an NBA Championship, and I honestly feel we can have a chance to do that if we keep improving over the next few years.

Dwight Howard: Thanks to everyone for logging into the chat today. Keep enjoying Magic basketball and we will keep working hard on our goals to win games. We want to keep the Magic fans happy and have fun this year. Go Magic!