Dwight Howard Talks All-Star Votes, Dunk Contest, and Something About a Phone Booth
A report from the US Airways Center in Phoenix, where the Magic faced the Suns on December 12th.
We received the first set of All-Star balloting rusults the other day, and besides the whole Yi Jianlian phenomenon, the big news was that Dwight Howard was the leading vote-getter among all players.
Howard's sudden rise to become the No. 1 fan choice for the All-Star game is likely thanks to his memorable performance in the weekend's signature event, the Slam Dunk Contest. The Superman stunt from last year quickly became legendary, and the sticker dunk the year before -- while it didn't get him the trophy -- was the one that everyone remembers most from that weekend in Vegas.
I got a chance to talk to Howard before the Magic took on the Suns, and we discussed his No. 1 vote-getter status, the possibility of him defending his Dunk Contest title, and what he might have in store if he does decide to compete in the event this year. Our conversation, after the jump.
Brett Edwards: The first All-Star voting results came out the other day, and you're leading everyone in votes. How do you feel about that?
Dwight Howard: It's a blessing, I just thank all the fans and everyone who voted. I didn't expect it so ... it's crazy. Something I didn't imagine.
BE: So you were surprised for sure, when the numbers came out?
DH: I was. Very surprised. I just want to thank the fans for voting for me, and my teammates for finding me in good spots. To block shots. And rebound.
BE: There are a couple of quotes floating around, you had said that maybe you wouldn't do the dunk contest, and then there's one from your agent like, "Oh yeah, he's in." Which way are you leaning right now?
DH: It's a surprise, I can't tell you. If I tell you too much right now, then you know, it ruins the surprise.
BE: It could get you some more votes though ...
DH: What, during the dunk contest?
BE: No, for the All-Star game. You could hold onto that lead ...
DH: When I put it on my website, I'm pretty sure people will see all the creative dunks that I might have planned for the All-Star game. I've also gotta decide what character I'm going to be this year ... I'm not going to tell you everything, but I will tell you this: Do y'all like phone booths?
BE: Yeah, we like phone booths.
DH: We'll keep it at that.
BE: Now, when you put stuff up on your website, is it gonna be -- I forget who did it last year, it might have been Jamario Moon or somebody (it was) -- he had a clip where the camera kind of went away, like he was teasing that he was gonna do something crazy.
DH: Oh no, I wouldn't do that. If I show you a dunk, I'm going to do it. I don't know if you saw it, but I did two of my dunks on the internet before I did it in the dunk contest. Only thing I'm going to tell you is: phone booth. We'll keep it at that. Be ready, I got some surprises.
BE: I was there in Vegas, when you did the famous sticker dunk, and I thought you got robbed. I thought if you would have told the crowd what you were gonna do ahead of time ...
DH: Yeah, but you can't tell everybody what you're going to do before you do it!
BE: It just took a while for the reaction, once you guys pointed up there and everyone realized what happened, then they went crazy, but the judges were already scribbling their numbers by then. So you can't hold on to too many surprises, right?
DH: Well, you know, I don't think this year my dunks are uh, I guess ... well, maybe, one or two of 'em, are pretty well thought out. Other than that, I'm just gonna have some fun.
[Unknown voice from inside nearby bathroom stall]: Don't tell 'em too much Dwight! Tell 'em to stay tuned!
DH: Stay tuned for more, right?
[Unknown voice from inside nearby bathroom stall]: Yeah, that's all they get!
DH: I'm not gonna tell y'all anything. He's right. The guy back there taking a dump.
That's alright. I think he's probably told us plenty already.