Dwight Howard went home to Atlanta last year after signing a three-year, $70.5 million deal, but after one season with the Hawks, the team wanted to go in a different direction. Howard, who was traded by the Hawks to the Hornets last week, will have an opportunity to be reunited with Hornets head coach Steve Clifford. As an assistant coach with the Magic and Lakers, Clifford worked with Howard for six seasons.
The Hornets introduced Howard today. The 31-year-old center will get another chance to prove the doubters wrong. Howard feels Charlotte is a great opportunity, and feels he has a lot left in the tank.
“I think I’m a lot healthier than I’ve been in the past five years. I think this is gonna be my best time,” Howard said.
“A lot of people always talk about the past, but I think I’m a lot wiser now, stronger, mentally and physically. I’m in the right place. Great coach, great GM, and the GOAT (Michael Jordan), so I think this is the perfect opportunity.”
Howard is not the same guy that Clifford coached in Orlando, but he still can be an effective player in the right situation. Howard is familiar with Steve Clifford, and averaged a double-double last season in Atlanta. Clifford told reporters last week that he believes Howard can still play at a high level. Plus, the Hornets really did not give up much up to get Howard. Charlotte reportedly wanted Howard last year before he signed with Atlanta.
This move is worth the risk for Jordan and the Hornets.