Longtime NBA center Dwight Howard was out of the league during the 2022/23 season, which he spent in Taiwan. However, he still believes he can be a productive player in an NBA rotation, he said during a wide-ranging interview with Zion Olojede of Complex.com.
“I know that there’s at least 15 to 20 teams that I could play for,” Howard said. “And I know there’s teams that got great starting centers, but I know I could be a great backup center. I know I can provide a team with 25 minutes of dominant basketball. And that’s not even scoring, that’s just playing defense, locking people up, protecting the paint, rebounding, and finishing around the basket. I’ve had my fun in the game. I just want to go out like a champ like I’m supposed to.”
Referencing a June interview in which Howard said he’d love to join the Kings, Olojede asked the three-time Defensive Player of the Year which five teams he believes would be good matches for him.
“Okay, you got Miami Heat. You got obviously, the Lakers. The Warriors,” Howard said. “The Kings. But the Kings, I would say the Kings got a couple centers so they probably wouldn’t. But the Kings. The Hawks. I’m from Atlanta, go back home with the Hawks.”
Here are more odds and ends from around the basketball world:
- Discussing his roster for the upcoming FIBA World Cup for the first time on Friday, Team USA head coach Steve Kerr said he plans to lean heavily on Knicks guard Jalen Brunson and Nets forward Mikal Bridges. As Joe Vardon of The Athletic writes, Kerr envisions Brunson having “a pretty big role” and intends to rely on Bridges defensively to match up against opponents’ high-scoring wings.
- Veteran NBA guard Frank Jackson, who had a brief stint with the Jazz this past season, will continue his career overseas, having signed a deal with French team ASVEL, per a press release. Jackson had appeared in 214 career regular season NBA games since being drafted in 2017.
- Rocco Zikarsky, a 7’3″ Australian big man, has decided to forgo a move to the NCAA in favor of joining the Brisbane Bullets as part of the National Basketball League’s Next Stars program, he tells Jonathan Givony of ESPN. Zikarsky, who will turn 17 next week, won’t be draft-eligible until at least 2025, but is considered one of the world’s best basketball prospects, per Givony.
- John Hollinger of The Athletic doesn’t want to go so far as to call them the “losers” of free agency, but has questions about the offseason moves made so far by the Raptors, Pelicans, Kings, Trail Blazers, and Nuggets.