Dwight Howard: Media Has 'Given the Heat the Trophy for the Next 12 Years'
I had a chance to sit down with Howard on Thursday afternoon as EA Sports unveiled both their NBA ELITE 11 and NBA JAM video games in New York, and asked Howard not to comment on the Heat, per se, but to get his thoughts on how the media has handled the "Summer of LeBron" -- this coming just a day after ESPN announced that they will send a crew to Ft. Walton Beach, Fla., for wall-to-wall coverage as the Miami Heat open up training camp on Tuesday.
"It is what it is," Howard told FanHouse.
I couldn't have said it any better.
"When you have two superstars on the same team and another All-Star," Howard said before pausing, "I guess you can say superstar, too, people want to see what's going to happen.
"The media just ran with it," he continued. "They've given the Heat the trophy for the next 12 years. But as a player you can't let that upset you. I understand the hype. But as they say, you beat the hype by going out there and showing everyone what you can do."
Howard doesn't use any of the media attention or hype surrounding the Heat as motivation. He said that his motivation is to win championships and his desire to be the best.
"It's not about other teams coming together," he said. "I want to be one of the greatest to ever play [the game]. That's what motivates me."
The Orlando Magic were ousted from the 2010 playoffs by the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals, a series which has only made Howard wish that the season would start tomorrow.
This offseason, in what some in Orlando might refer to as the 'Summer of Q-Du,' the Magic added backup point guard Chris Duhon and scoring wing Quentin Richardson to their roster. Howard was happy about the team's movement in the offseason, but he stressed that the best move GM Otis Smith made was keeping the core of the team together.
"Chemistry is very important when trying to win a championship," Howard said.
A goal that he feels is well within his reach this season.
Of course I couldn't let Howard go without asking him about the new NBA JAM game, which you can't lead into without shouting "Boomshakalaka!"
I had a chance to preview the game before sitting down with Howard and noticed that his player attributes most likely wouldn't meet his approval. Naturally, his 3-point shooting was at a 'one,' which is the lowest you can get in the scale from 1-10. His speed, however, was at a '3,' compared to his teammates Vince Carter and Rashard Lewis, who both registered with a '7' in that category. I asked Howard if both Carter and Lewis were really four points faster than he was and he responded with a emphatic "No!"
"They got me as the slowest guy in the game," he said. "It's crazy cause I'm the fastest guy on my team! It kinda hurts my feelings."
He's not even happy with the "hops" he's been given, or lack thereof.
"Vince (Carter) has more hops than me in the game," Howard said as he leaned forward. "I won the dunk contest and I don't even have any special dunks!"
As you can imagine, the trio in Miami has some of the highest player attributes in the game, and, of course, a number of 'rim-rocking' dunks.
It is what it is, I suppose.