Howard, who plays center, spent his high school career at Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy. He chose to forgo college, entered the 2004 NBA draft, and was selected first overall by the Orlando Magic. An eight-time All-Star, eight-time All-NBA Team honoree, five-time All-Defensive Team member, and three-time Defensive Player of the Year, Howard set numerous franchise and league records during his time with the Magic. In 2009, he led the team to the NBA Finals.
In 2012, after eight seasons with Orlando, Howard was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers. After one season with the Lakers, he played for the Houston Rockets, the Atlanta Hawks, and the Charlotte Hornets before joining the Wizards in July 2018.
Howard with the Hawks in November 2016
|No. 21 – Washington Wizards|
|Born||December 8, 1985|
|Listed height||6 ft 11 in (2.11 m)|
|Listed weight||265 lb (120 kg)|
|High school||Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy|
|NBA draft||2004 / Round: 1 / Pick: 1st overall|
|Selected by the Orlando Magic|
|2012–2013||Los Angeles Lakers|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Stats at NBA.com|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
Howard was born in Atlanta, to Dwight Sr. and Sheryl Howard, and into a family with strong athletic connections. His father is a Georgia State Trooper and serves as Athletic Director of Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy, a private academy with one of the best high school basketball programs in the country, while his mother played on the inaugural women's basketball team at Morris Brown College. Howard's mother had seven miscarriages before he was born. A devout Christian since his youth, Howard became serious about basketball around the age of nine. Despite his large frame, Howard was quick and versatile enough to play the guard position. He elected to attend Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy for high school, and in his four years he played mostly as power forward, averaging 16.6 points, 13.4 rebounds and 6.3 blocks per game in 129 appearances. As a senior, Howard led his team to a 31–2 record and the 2004 state title, while averaging 25 points, 18 rebounds, 8.1 blocks and 3.5 assists per game. That same year, Howard was widely recognized as the best American high school basketball player, and he was awarded the Naismith Prep Player of the Year Award, the Morgan Wootten High School Player of the Year Award, Gatorade National Player of the Year and the McDonald's National High School Player of the Year honor. He was also co-MVP (with J. R. Smith) of the McDonald's All-American Game that year. On January 31, 2012, Howard was honored as one of the 35 greatest McDonald's All-Americans.
Following his high school successes, Howard chose to forego college and declared for the 2004 NBA draft—a decision partly inspired by his idol Kevin Garnett who had done the same in 1995—where the Orlando Magic selected him first overall over UConn junior Emeka Okafor. He took the number 12 for his jersey, in part because it was the reverse of Garnett's 21 when he played for Minnesota. Howard joined a depleted Magic squad that had finished with only 21 victories the previous season; further, the club had just lost perennial NBA All-Star Tracy McGrady. Howard, however, made an immediate impact. He finished his rookie season with an average of 12 points and 10 rebounds, setting several NBA records in the process. He became the youngest player in NBA history to average a double double in the regular season. He also became the youngest player in NBA history to average at least 10 rebounds in a season and youngest NBA player ever to record at least 20 rebounds in a game. Howard's importance to the Magic was highlighted when he became the first player in NBA history directly out of high school to start all 82 games during his rookie season. For his efforts, he was selected to play in the 2005 NBA Rookie Challenge, and was unanimously selected to the All-Rookie Team. He also finished third in the Rookie of the Year voting.
Howard reported to camp for his second NBA season having added 20 pounds of muscle during the off-season. Orlando coach Brian Hill—responsible for grooming former Magic superstar Shaquille O'Neal—decided that Howard should be converted into a full-fledged center. Hill identified two areas where Howard needed to improve: his post-up game and his defense. He exerted extra pressure on Howard, saying that the Magic would need him to emerge as a force in the middle before the team had a chance at the playoffs. On November 15, 2005, in a home game against the Charlotte Bobcats, Howard recorded 21 points and 20 rebounds, becoming the youngest player ever to score 20 or more points and gather 20 or more rebounds in the same game. He was selected to play on the Sophomore Team in the 2006 Rookie Challenge during the All-Star break. Overall, he averaged 15.8 points and 12.5 rebounds per game, ranking second in the NBA in rebounds per game, offensive rebounds, and double-doubles and sixth in field goal percentage. Despite Howard's improvement, the Magic finished the season with a 36–46 record and failed to qualify for the playoffs for the second consecutive season since Howard's arrival.
In the 2006–07 season (and for the third consecutive season), Howard played in all 82 regular-season games. On February 1, 2007, he received his first NBA All-Star selection as a reserve on the Eastern Conference squad for the 2007 NBA All-Star Game. On February 9, he made a game-winning alley-oop off an inbound pass at the buzzer against the San Antonio Spurs. Howard set a new career high with 35 points against the Philadelphia 76ers on April 14. Under his leadership, the Magic qualified for the 2007 NBA Playoffs as the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference. There, the Magic were swept by the Detroit Pistons in the first round. For the season, Howard averaged 17.6 points and 12.3 rebounds per game, finishing first in the NBA in total rebounds, second in field goal percentage, and ninth in blocks. He was named to the All-NBA Third Team at the end of the 2006–07 campaign.
Howard continued posting impressive numbers in the 2007–08 season and helped the Magic have their best season to date. Howard was named as a starter for the Eastern Conference All-Star team. On February 16, 2008, he won the NBA Slam Dunk Contest by receiving 78% of the fan's votes via text messaging or online voting; in that contest, he performed a series of innovative dunks said to have rejuvenated the contest, including donning a Superman cape for one of the dunks. Howard led the Magic to their first division title in 12 years and to the third seed for the 2008 NBA Playoffs. In their first round match-up against the Toronto Raptors, Howard's dominance (three 20-point/20-rebound games) helped Orlando to prevail in five games. Howard's series total of 91 rebounds was also greater than the total rebounds collected by the entire Toronto frontcourt. In the second round against the Pistons, the Magic lost in five games. For the season, Howard was named to the All-NBA First Team for the first time, and was also named to the NBA All-Defensive Second Team.
The 2008–09 season began well for Howard. Ten games into the season, the center was leading the league in blocks per game (4.2). In December, Howard injured his left knee, which caused him to miss a game due to injury for the first time in his NBA career; previously, he had played in 351 consecutive games. He garnered a record 3.1 million votes to earn the starting berth on the Eastern Conference team for the 2009 NBA All-Star Game. Howard led Orlando to its second straight Southeast Division title and to the third seed for the 2009 NBA Playoffs; the team finished the season with a 59–23 record. In the first round of the playoffs against the 76ers, Howard recorded 24 points and 24 rebounds in Game 5 to give Orlando a 3–2 lead before the Magic closed out the series in six games. In the second round against the Boston Celtics, after the Magic blew a lead in Game 5 to fall behind 3–2 in the series, Howard publicly stated that he should have been given the ball more and questioned coach Stan Van Gundy's tactics. The Magic went on to defeat Boston to win the series and move on to the Eastern Conference Finals. There they, defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers 4–2. Howard had a playoff career-high 40 points to go with his 14 rebounds in the deciding Game 6, leading Orlando to the NBA Finals for the first time in 14 years. In the NBA Finals, the Los Angeles Lakers took the first two home games, before a home win by the Magic brought the deficit to 2–1. In Game 4, despite Howard putting up 21 rebounds and a Finals record of 9 blocks in a game, the Magic lost in overtime. The Lakers went on to clinch the series with a win in Game 5. For the season, Howard became the youngest player ever to win the NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award. He was also named to the NBA All-Defensive First Team, and to the All-NBA First Team.
In the 2009–10 season, the Magic got off to a strong start, winning 17 of their first 21 games and setting a franchise record. On January 21, 2010, Howard was named as the starting center for the East in the 2010 NBA All-Star Game. The Magic completed the regular season with 59 wins and their third consecutive division title. The Magic's playoff run resulted another Eastern Conference Finals appearance, where they lost in six games to the Celtics. Howard won the Defensive Player of the Year Award for the second straight year. He became the first player in NBA history to lead the league in blocks and rebounds in the same season twice—and for two years in a row.
In the 2010–11 season, Howard posted career highs in points and field goal percentage. He became the first player in league history to win Defensive Player of the Year honors for three consecutive seasons. Howard led the league in double-doubles and also averaged 14.1 rebounds, 2.3 blocks and a career-high 1.3 steals this season. He led the Magic to 52 wins, as they finished as the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference. They went on to lose to the Atlanta Hawks in the first round of 2011 NBA Playoffs. He had a playoff career-high 46 points and 19 rebounds in Orlando's 103–93 loss to Atlanta in Game 1. Howard led the NBA in technical fouls with 18 in the regular season, and received one-game suspensions after his 16th and 18th technicals.
Due to a lockout, the 2011–12 regular season was shortened to 66 games. Not long after the lockout ended, Howard, who was eligible to become a free agent at the end of the season, demanded a trade to the New Jersey Nets, Los Angeles Lakers or Dallas Mavericks. Howard stated that although his preference was to remain in Orlando, he did not feel the Magic organization was doing enough to build a championship contender. He would later meet with Magic officials and agree to back off his trade demands, but stated that he also felt the team needed to make changes to the roster if they wanted to contend for a championship.
On January 12, 2012, Howard attempted an NBA regular season record 39 free throws against the Golden State Warriors. Howard entered the game making 42 percent of his free throws for the season and just below 60 percent for his career. The Warriors hacked Howard intentionally throughout the game, and he broke Wilt Chamberlain's regular-season record of 34 set in 1962. Howard made 21 of the 39 attempts, finishing with 45 points and 23 rebounds in the Magic's 117–109 victory. On January 24, 2012, Howard became the Magic's all-time scoring leader.
On March 15, 2012, on the day of the trading deadline for the 2011–12 NBA season, Howard waived his right to opt out of his contract at the end of the season and committed to stay with the Magic through the 2012–13 season. He had previously asked to be traded to the New Jersey Nets. Had he not signed the amendment, the Magic were prepared to trade him to avoid losing him as a free agent. On April 5, Van Gundy said that he had been informed by management that Howard wanted him fired. During the interview, the center walked up and hugged his coach, unaware that Van Gundy had confirmed a report that Howard denied. Van Gundy was let go after the season.
On April 19, 2012, Howard's agent said that Howard would undergo surgery to repair a herniated disk in his back and would miss the rest of the 2011–12 season, as well as the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. During the offseason, Howard again requested a trade to the Nets, who had relocated to Brooklyn. He intended to become a free agent at the end of the 2012–13 season if he was not traded to Brooklyn.
On August 10, 2012, Howard was traded from Orlando to the Los Angeles Lakers in a deal that also involved the Philadelphia 76ers and the Denver Nuggets. Howard took six months off from basketball after his April back surgery, and only had the combined four weeks of training camp and preseason to prepare for the season. Still working himself into shape, Howard paced himself throughout the season on both offense and defense. On January 4, 2013, Howard injured his right shoulder in the second half of the Lakers' 107–102 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers. At the midpoint of the season, the Lakers were a disappointing 17–24. Howard was averaging 17.1 points on 58.2% shooting, 12.3 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks, but also 3.6 fouls a game with 3.2 turnovers while making only 50.4% of his free throws.
Howard was upset that he was not getting the ball enough, and he felt that Kobe Bryant was shooting too much. Moving forward, Howard said he needed to "bring it" and dominate in more ways than just scoring. Howard missed games due to his recurring shoulder injury in January and February. In February, Bryant said that Howard "worries too much" and "doesn't want to let anyone down", urging him to play through the pain when Pau Gasol was sidelined with a torn plantar fascia. Howard returned the next game after commenting that Bryant was "not a doctor, I'm not a doctor. That's his opinion."
During the All-Star break, Howard adopted a healthier diet to get into better shape to anchor the Lakers' defense and run D'Antoni's preferred pick and rolls. Still, on February 23, Howard said he was "not even close" to physically being where he wanted to be. Coach Mike D'Antoni attributed his conditioning to his difficulty with running the pick and roll with Steve Nash, a play the coach had expected would be a staple for the team. The Lakers were 8–2 after the All-Star break, passing Utah for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference, and Howard averaged 15.5 points, 14.8 rebounds, and 2.6 blocks. In his first game back in Orlando on March 12, Howard scored a season-high 39 points and had 16 rebounds in a 106–97 Lakers win. Booed throughout the game, he made 25-of-39 free throws, setting Lakers records for free throws made and attempted while tying his NBA record for attempts.[a] Howard made 16-of-20 free throws when he was fouled intentionally by the Magic. With Howard anchoring the Lakers defense and his improved overall play, the Lakers made the playoffs, but were swept in the opening round by San Antonio. Howard was ejected in Game 4 with over nine minutes left in the third quarter.
Howard finished the season with his lowest scoring average since his second year in the NBA, but was the league leader in rebounding and ranked second in field goal percentage. Although he was recovering from his back surgery, he only missed six games all season—all due to his torn labrum. Howard was named to the All-NBA Third Team after having received five consecutive first-team honors. He became a free agent in the summer, and was offered a maximum contract of five years and $118 million by the Lakers.
On July 13, 2013, Howard signed with the Houston Rockets, joining James Harden to form a formidable duo. Howard finished the regular season with averages of 18.3 points and 12.2 rebounds and earned All-NBA Second Team honors. During the 2014 playoffs, Howard averaged 26 points and 13.7 rebounds per game, but the Rockets were eliminated by the Portland Trail Blazers in the first round, losing the series 4–2.
After playing in the Rockets' first 10 out of 11 games to start the 2014–15 season, Howard missed 11 straight due to a strained right knee before returning to action on December 13 against the Denver Nuggets and recording his 10,000th career rebound. However, on January 31, Howard was ruled out for a further month due to persistent trouble with his right knee. After setbacks forced him out for a further month and a total of 26 games, Howard returned to action on March 25 against the New Orleans Pelicans. He started the game but was held under 17 minutes by coach Kevin McHale and finished with just four points and seven rebounds in a 95–93 win. Howard played only 41 games in the regular season. The Rockets clinched their first division title in over 20 years and made it to the Western Conference Finals, where they lost 4–1 to the Golden State Warriors.
On November 4, 2015, Howard had 23 points and 14 rebounds against the Orlando Magic. He shot 10-of-10 to become the first Rocket to make 10 or more field goals without a miss since Yao Ming went 12-of-12 in 2009. On December 26, he eclipsed 15,000 points for his career in a loss to the New Orleans Pelicans. On January 18, 2016, in an overtime loss to the Los Angeles Clippers, Howard had 36 points and tied a career high with 26 rebounds en route to his 10th straight double-double, the league's longest active streak at the time, and his longest since a 14-game run in 2012–13. On June 22, 2016, Howard declined his $23 million player option for the 2016–17 season and became an unrestricted free agent.
On July 12, 2016, Howard signed a three-year, $70 million contract with the Atlanta Hawks. With the retirement of Tim Duncan, Howard entered the 2016–17 season as the NBA's active leader in rebounds (12,089) and blocked shots (1,916). In his debut for the Hawks in their season opener on October 27, Howard grabbed 19 rebounds in a 114–99 win over the Washington Wizards. It was the most rebounds for anyone in their Atlanta debut, breaking the mark of 18 that Shareef Abdur-Rahim set on October 30, 2001. On November 2, he scored a season-high 31 points in a 123–116 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers. On February 2, he had a season-best game with 24 points and 23 rebounds in a 113–108 win over the Rockets in Houston.
On June 20, 2017, the Hawks traded Howard, along with the 31st overall pick in the 2017 NBA draft, to the Charlotte Hornets in exchange for Marco Belinelli, Miles Plumlee and the 41st overall pick in the 2017 NBA draft. To begin the season, Howard became the first Charlotte player since Emeka Okafor in 2007 with four consecutive 15-rebound games. In the fifth game of the season, he had another 15-rebound game. On March 15, he scored 20 of his season-high 33 points in the second half of the Hornets' 129–117 win over the Atlanta Hawks. On March 21, Howard recorded 32 points and a franchise-record 30 rebounds in a 111–105 win over the Nets, becoming just the eighth player in league history with a 30–30 game. He became the first NBA player with a 30-point, 30-rebound game since Kevin Love in November 2010, and the first player with a 30–30 game against the Nets since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in February 1978. Howard finished the season with a franchise-record 53 double-doubles and joined Abdul-Jabbar and Wilt Chamberlain as the only players to hold single-season records with two teams. Howard also became one of six players to average a double-double in each of his first 13 seasons in the league.
On July 6, 2018, Howard was traded to the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for Timofey Mozgov, the draft rights to Hamidou Diallo, a 2021 second-round draft pick and cash considerations. He was waived by the Nets immediately upon being acquired.
On July 12, 2018, Howard signed with the Washington Wizards. He missed all of training camp, every exhibition game and the first seven regular-season games with a sore backside. He appeared in nine games in November before missing the rest of the season after undergoing spinal surgery to relieve pain in his glutes. In March 2019, it was revealed that Howard, in addition to his back injury, was also dealing with a hamstring issue.
On April 18, 2019, Howard exercised his $5.6 million player option to play a second season with the Wizards.
Howard was named on March 5, 2006 to the 2006–2008 USA Basketball Men's Senior National Team program. As the team's regular starting center, he helped lead the team to a 5–0 record during its pre-World Championship tour, and subsequently helped the team win the bronze medal at the 2006 FIBA World Championship. During the FIBA Americas Championship 2007, Howard was on the team which won its first nine games en route to qualifying for the finals and a spot for the 2008 Olympics. He started in eight of those nine games, averaging 8.9 ppg, 5.3 rpg and led the team in shooting .778 from the field. In the finals, he made all seven of his shots and scored 20 points as the USA defeated Argentina to win the gold medal.
On June 23, 2008, Howard was named as one of the members of the 12-man squad representing the United States in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. With Howard starting as center, Team USA won all of its games en route to the gold medal, breaking their drought of gold medals dating back to the 2000 Olympics. Howard averaged 10.9 points and 5.8 rebounds per game in the tournament.
Standing at 6 feet 11 inches tall (2.11 m) and weighing 265 pounds (120 kg), Howard plays the center position. Howard led the NBA in rebounding from 2007 to 2010, and again from 2012 to 2013. Howard's rebounding is in part facilitated by his extraordinary athleticism; his running vertical leap was tested at 39.5 inches in 2011, rare for a player of his size. He demonstrated this skill in the 2007 Slam Dunk Contest, where he completed an alley oop dunk from teammate Jameer Nelson while slapping a sticker onto the backboard at 12 ft 6 in (3.81 m) high. The sticker showed an image of his own smiling face with a handwritten "All things through Christ Phil: 4:13", a paraphrase of Philippians 4:13.
Howard's abilities and powerful physique have drawn attention from fellow NBA All-Stars. Tim Duncan once remarked in 2007: "[Howard] is so developed... He has so much promise and I am glad that I will be out of the league when he is peaking." Kevin Garnett echoed those sentiments: "[Howard] is a freak of nature, man... I was nowhere near that physically talented. I wasn't that gifted, as far as body and physical presence." Subsequent to a game in the 2009 NBA Playoffs, Philadelphia 76ers swingman Andre Iguodala said: "It's like he can guard two guys at once. He can guard his guy and the guy coming off the pick-and-roll, which is almost impossible to do... If he gets any more athletic or jumps any higher, they're going to have to change the rules." In December 2007, ESPN writer David Thorpe declared Howard to be the most dominant center in the NBA. Early in his career, many sports pundits rated Howard as one of the top young prospects in the NBA.
|GP||Games played||GS||Games started||MPG||Minutes per game|
|FG%||Field goal percentage||3P%||3-point field goal percentage||FT%||Free throw percentage|
|RPG||Rebounds per game||APG||Assists per game||SPG||Steals per game|
|BPG||Blocks per game||PPG||Points per game||Bold||Career high|
|*||Led the league|
On November 18, 2007, Howard's ex-girlfriend, former Magic dancer Royce Reed, gave birth to their son, Braylon. "'I was ashamed because I’d talked so much about being a Christian, professed my faith to the whole world, and here I was with a baby out of wedlock,'" Howard said. "'I felt like I didn’t need my relationship with God anymore, and that caused a lot of pain.'" Howard won a defamation judgment against Reed in 2010, when a Florida judge ruled that she violated a court order prohibiting her from mentioning him in the media. He had initially sought $550,500,000 in damages, claiming that she had disparaged him through Twitter and her appearances on the reality television show, Basketball Wives, as the couple's paternity agreement stipulated a $500 fine for each time she mentioned him in public.
In October 2014, police in Cobb County, Georgia investigated claims by Reed that Howard abused their son. Howard had admitted to hitting Braylon with a belt; he had been disciplined in the same manner while growing up, and he stated that he did not realize it was wrong to do so. Howard was not charged in connection with the allegations. Howard was also involved in a civil case with Reed over custody of their son.
Howard has said, "'I came from a little box where everyone wanted to protect me from the big world I was about to enter. But when I finally got into that world and took a look around, I wanted to experience all of it.'" As of September 2017, Howard—who has never married—had fathered five children by five different women living in three different states. The children reportedly "visit Atlanta every off-season." In a 2017 interview, Howard said, "'It’s a tough situation, obviously... I should have been more responsible. I messed up. I sinned. But I won’t look at any of [my children] as a mistake. They’re all a blessing to me.'"
Howard keeps approximately 20 snakes as pets and has appeared twice in Animal Planet's reality TV series Tanked. He owns a farm "in north Georgia where he relaxes [with] cows, hogs, turkeys and deer," and also grows vegetables on his estate.
Before he was drafted in 2004, Howard said that he wanted to use his NBA career and Christian faith to "raise the name of God within the league and throughout the world". He has stated he believes in reaching out to his community and fans and thus contributes substantially in the field of philanthropy. As of 2007, Howard—an avid listener of Gospel music—attended the Fellowship of Faith Church in Atlanta and was involved and active with its youth programs. Together with his parents, Howard also established the Dwight D. Howard Foundation Inc. in 2004. The Foundation provides scholarships for students who want to attend his alma mater, Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy, and grants to Lovell Elementary School and Memorial Middle School in Orlando, Florida. The Foundation also organizes summer basketball camps for boys and girls, and together with high school and college coaches and players, fellow NBA players are invited to be on hand at the camp. For his contributions in the Central Florida community, Howard received in 2005 the Rich and Helen De Vos Community Enrichment Award. Within the NBA itself, Howard has participated in several NBA "Read to Achieve" assemblies encouraging children to make reading a priority. In November 2009, the center was named one of the 10 finalists for the Jefferson Awards for Public Service, which awards athletes for their charitable work. In 2009, Howard, along with several other NBA players, joined the Hoops for St. Jude charity program benefitting the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
Elsewhere, Howard appeared as a special guest on an episode of the ABC series Extreme Makeover: Home Edition that aired April 2, 2006, in which Ty Pennington and his team built a new home and ministry offices for Sadie Holmes, who operates a social services ministry in the Orlando area. He made another appearance on the show in the October 9, 2011 episode.
In 2014, Epix featured Howard as the focal point of a documentary about his life called In the Moment. The film was directed by Ross Greenburg and Executive Producers include Michael D. Ratner and Matthew Weaver.
The 2004 NBA draft was held on June 24, 2004, at The Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City, and was broadcast live on ESPN at 7:00 pm (EDT). In this draft, National Basketball Association teams took turns selecting amateur college basketball players and other first-time eligible players. The NBA announced that 56 college and high school players and 38 international players had filed as early-entry candidates for the 2004 draft. On May 26, the NBA draft lottery was conducted for the teams that did not make the NBA Playoffs in the 2003–04 NBA season. The Orlando Magic, who had a 25 percent chance of obtaining the first selection, won the lottery, while the Los Angeles Clippers and the Chicago Bulls were second and third respectively. As an expansion team, the Charlotte Bobcats had been assigned the fourth selection in the draft and did not participate in the lottery. The Minnesota Timberwolves forfeited their first-round pick due to salary cap violations.By the end of the draft, around 40% of the players selected in it were born from countries outside the United States. It would remain the highest influx of international players selected in the modern NBA draft era until the 2016 NBA draft, where almost half of the selected players were born in countries outside the US. In addition, four of the players selected in the draft were Russians, which not only marked the highest number of players born in that region to be taken in one draft, but also was the highest representation of a country in one draft until 2016 when five Frenchmen would be taken in the draft.
After the completion of the regular season, Emeka Okafor, the Bobcats' historical first rookie draft pick back when they were considered an expansion franchise, was named Rookie of the Year, while Ben Gordon earned the Sixth Man Award, becoming the first rookie in NBA history to do so.Dwight Howard has become an eight-time All-Star and has received seven All-NBA selections, and a three-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year. He also had the distinction as the only NBA player straight out of high school to start all 82 games as a rookie. There are also four other players that would be named All-Stars at some point in their careers, and Al Jefferson would be named to an All-NBA team. The draft is also notable for many high schoolers being drafted within a few picks from each other.2007 NBA All-Star Game
The 2007 NBA All-Star Game was played on Sunday, February 18, 2007 at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas's Thomas and Mack Center in Paradise, Nevada, United States. It was the 56th annual All-Star Game. It was the first time the All-Star Game was played in a city without an NBA franchise and first to be played on a college campus. The game was televised on TNT at 9 ET as part as the NBA on TNT production studios.
The Western Conference set All-Star records with 69 field goals and 52 assists on its way to an emphatic 153–132 win over the Eastern Conference All-Stars at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas. Amar'e Stoudemire racked up 29 points and nine boards and Carmelo Anthony had 20 and nine for the West. LeBron James led the Eastern Conference with 28 points, six rebounds and six assists and Dwight Howard tallied 20 points and 12 boards. Kobe Bryant, previously the MVP of the 2002 All-Star Game, moved from 11th to 10th place on all-time All-star scoring, surpassing Magic Johnson. Bryant posted 31 points, grabbed 5 rebounds, and dished out 6 assists and steals; for his performance, he was selected as the MVP of the All-Star game receiving a more favorable reception from the crowd than 2002. Also, Dirk Nowitzki became the first European born-player to be a starter at the All-Star Game.
As announced on August 5, 2005, the NBA, led by Commissioner David Stern, did not allow wagering on the results of the game in the state of Nevada.2007–08 Orlando Magic season
The 2007–08 Orlando Magic season was their 19th season in the National Basketball Association.
In the playoffs, the Magic defeated the Toronto Raptors in the First Round in five games before losing to the Detroit Pistons in the Semifinals in five games.2008–09 NBA season
The 2008–09 NBA season was the 63rd season of the National Basketball Association (NBA). The Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Orlando Magic in the 2009 NBA Finals, four games to one.
The 2008 NBA draft was held on June 28, 2008, and Derrick Rose was selected first overall by the Chicago Bulls and eventually awarded the 2009 NBA Rookie of the Year Award. The 2009 NBA All-Star Game was hosted at the US Airways Center in Phoenix. The Western Conference All-Stars defeated the Eastern Conference All-Stars 146–119. The All-Star Game co-MVPs were Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant.This was the first NBA season since 1966–67 without a Seattle franchise, as the SuperSonics moved to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma in July 2008 and became the Oklahoma City Thunder.2008–09 Orlando Magic season
The 2008–09 Orlando Magic season was the 20th season of the franchise in the National Basketball Association (NBA). The team finished the regular season with a 59–23 record, the most wins since the 1995–96 season. The Magic would go on to defeat the Philadelphia 76ers in six games in the First Round, highlighted by forward Hedo Türkoğlu's game winner in game four of the first round of the playoffs, then defeated the defending NBA champion Boston Celtics in a tough, hard-fought seven-game series in the semifinals, and finally, defeated the top-seeded Cleveland Cavaliers in six games in the conference finals, thanks to all-star defensive player of the year center Dwight Howard's 40 points and 10 rebounds in Game 6, to advance to the NBA Finals for the first time since 1995, only to lose to the Los Angeles Lakers in five games.
Following the season, Türkoğlu was traded to the Toronto Raptors in a three-team deal and Rafer Alston, Tony Battie and Courtney Lee were all dealt to the New Jersey Nets. It was also Tyronn Lue’s last season as an NBA player, as 6 years later, he would return to the NBA, as head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers.2009 NBA Finals
The 2009 NBA Finals was the National Basketball Association (NBA)'s championship series for the 2008–09 season. The best-of-seven playoff was contested between the Western Conference champion Los Angeles Lakers (who were also the defending Western Conference champions), and the Eastern Conference champion Orlando Magic. The Lakers defeated the Magic, four games to one, to win the franchise's 15th NBA championship. The 63rd edition of the championship series was played between June 4 and June 14 and was broadcast on U.S. television on ABC.
The Lakers earned their berth into the playoffs by winning the Pacific Division. The Magic won the Southeast Division to earn their berth. The Lakers reached the NBA Finals by defeating the Utah Jazz in the best-of-seven Western Conference First Round, the Houston Rockets in the best-of-seven Western Conference Semifinals, and the Denver Nuggets in the best-of-seven Western Conference Finals. The Magic reached the NBA Finals by defeating the Philadelphia 76ers in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference First Round, the defending champion Boston Celtics in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference Semifinals, and the league best Cleveland Cavaliers in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference Finals. The NBA Finals were staged under a 2–3–2 rotation, with the Lakers holding home-court advantage as they had a better regular season record than the Magic.
Kobe Bryant led the team to a Game 1 win with 40 points, eight rebounds, and eight assists. Game 2 was a high-scoring affair that the Lakers ultimately won on both strong defensive play and last minute heroics by Bryant, Derek Fisher, and Pau Gasol during the overtime. A record-breaking performance from the Magic's 65% team shooting ensured the team a Game 3 win and the first Finals victory in franchise history. Although they trailed the Magic as much as 12 at halftime, the Lakers won Game 4 in overtime on the back of Trevor Ariza's 13 points in the second half and Fisher's pair of three-point clutch shots. Dominant offensive play coupled with a spectacular defense by both starters and reserves from the second quarter until the buzzer helped the Lakers to win Game 5 and secure the series. Bryant was named Most Valuable Player of the Finals.
Rodd Houston narrated the Lakers' 2009 season through the Lakers 2009 championship home video on NBA Entertainment. As with previous championship videos, two versions exist: the DVD version recaps the entire 2009 Lakers' season, from the regular season and playoffs to the finals; the TV version recaps only the Lakers' playoff run.
This series was nicknamed the "Disney Series" for its connections to The Walt Disney Company. Disney owns Finals broadcaster ABC; Walt Disney World is located twenty miles from Orlando in nearby Lake Buena Vista, and Disneyland is located thirty miles from Los Angeles in nearby Anaheim.2009 NBA playoffs
The 2009 NBA playoffs was the postseason tournament of the National Basketball Association's 2008–09 season. The tournament concluded with the Western Conference champion Los Angeles Lakers defeating the Eastern Conference champion Orlando Magic 4 games to 1 in the NBA Finals. Kobe Bryant was named NBA Finals MVP.
The Boston Celtics lost a best-of-7 series after leading 3–2 for the first time to the Magic in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. Before that, their first round series with the Chicago Bulls set an NBA Playoff record for the most overtime games (4) and periods (7) played.
The Houston Rockets won a first round series for the first time since 1997. They pushed the eventual champion Lakers to a Game 7 before losing. The Atlanta Hawks won a first round series for the first time since 1999, but were swept by the Cavs after enduring a tough 7-game series with the Miami Heat, who made the playoffs for the fifth time in 6 years. The Denver Nuggets won a playoff series for the first time since 1994, eventually reaching their first conference final since 1985.
As for the Detroit Pistons and San Antonio Spurs, they failed to advance past the first round for the first time since 2000. The Pistons were swept by the Cavs, while the Spurs lost to the Dallas Mavericks 4-1.
The Portland Trail Blazers made the playoffs for the first time since 2003, but for the fourth straight time, they were eliminated in the first round, courtesy of Houston in 6 games.
The Cleveland Cavaliers became only the second team in NBA History (after the Miami Heat) to go 8-0 through the first two rounds by sweeping the Detroit Pistons and Atlanta Hawks (they would duplicate this feat in 2016, against the same two teams). However, they fell in 6 games to the Orlando Magic in the Eastern Conference Finals.2009–10 Orlando Magic season
The 2009–10 Orlando Magic season was the 21st season of the Orlando Magic in the National Basketball Association (NBA). The Magic were coming off of an NBA Finals defeat to the Los Angeles Lakers in five games. It was also the Magic's last season having the Amway Arena as their home arena. The Magic would match their record from last season.
In the playoffs, the Magic swept the Charlotte Bobcats in four games in the First Round, swept the Atlanta Hawks in four games in the Semifinals, before losing to the Boston Celtics in six games in the Conference Finals.2010–11 Orlando Magic season
The 2010–11 Orlando Magic season was the 22nd season of the Orlando Magic in the National Basketball Association (NBA). This was their first season at the Amway Center.
In the playoffs, the Magic lost to the Atlanta Hawks in six games in the First Round.2011–12 Orlando Magic season
The 2011–12 Orlando Magic season was the 23rd season of the franchise in the National Basketball Association (NBA). The team finished in 6th place in the Eastern Conference with a 37–29 record in a regular season shortened by the lockout and an offseason where trade rumours that included starting center Dwight Howard abounded. After the Magic's playoff loss against the Indiana Pacers in the first round of the 2012 NBA Playoffs, the Orlando franchise parted ways with head coach Stan Van Gundy and General Manager Otis Smith. The Amway Center, the Magic's home court, was the venue of the 2012 NBA All-Star Game.
This season also marked the end of an era as Dwight Howard was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2012 off-season. The Magic would not earn a playoff berth again until the 2018–19 season.2012–13 Los Angeles Lakers season
The 2012–13 Los Angeles Lakers season was the 65th season of the franchise, its 64th season in the National Basketball Association (NBA), and its 53rd season in Los Angeles. The Lakers acquired All-Stars Steve Nash and Dwight Howard, giving them a starting lineup of five All-Stars consisting of Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Metta World Peace, Nash, and Howard, who were expected to contend for the franchise's 17th NBA championship. Instead, the Lakers struggled to qualify for the playoffs after changing head coaches and implementing multiple offenses. However, a weak defense and multiple injuries were the team's biggest problems. They exited the playoffs in the first round for the first time since 2007.
The season began with head coach Mike Brown changing the Lakers offensive strategy to the Princeton offense. After an 0–8 preseason record and a 1–4 start to the regular season, Brown was fired. Assistant Bernie Bickerstaff was named the interim coach until Mike D'Antoni took over as the full-time head coach. Still, the Lakers began the season 15–21 for their worst start since the 1993–94 season. They were in jeopardy of missing the playoffs after trailing the Houston Rockets at the All-Star break by 3 1⁄2 games for the eighth and final playoff berth in the Western Conference. The Lakers started 8–2 after the break, gaining sole possession of a top-8 spot for the first time since December 1, and moving two games over .500 for the first time all season. After being swept by their crosstown rivals, the Los Angeles Clippers, the Lakers fell a half game behind the Utah Jazz for the final playoff spot. The Lakers again overtook Utah in the standings, but Kobe Bryant's season ended after suffering a torn Achilles tendon in the 80th game of the season. The Lakers qualified for the playoffs on the last day of the season, defeating Houston to finish 45–37 and seeded seventh in the West. Facing the San Antonio Spurs in the first round, the injury-riddled Lakers were swept in four games.
As of 2019, the Lakers have not qualified for the playoffs since this season.2013–14 Houston Rockets season
The 2013–14 Houston Rockets season was the 47th season of the franchise in the National Basketball Association (NBA), and the 43rd based in Houston. The season is best remembered for acquiring All-Star Dwight Howard from the Los Angeles Lakers. With Howard teamed up with team captain James Harden, they gelled their first season together, being named as starters for the 2014 NBA All-Star Game. With Howard now as co-captain, the Rockets improved on last season and finished with a 54–28 record, finishing 4th in the Western Conference. They met the Portland Trail Blazers in the first round, but the presences of Howard and Harden were not enough as Houston fell in six games, thanks to a Damian Lillard series-clinching three pointer in Game 6.
Point guard Jeremy Lin, who was co-captain last year, spent most of the season on the bench, as Patrick Beverley earned the starting position. After the season, Lin was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers, and his two-year tenure with Houston came to an end. Along with Lin was Chandler Parsons who became a free agent and later signed with the Dallas Mavericks and center Omer Asik who, after two seasons with the team, was traded to the New Orleans Pelicans.2014–15 Houston Rockets season
The 2014–15 Houston Rockets season was the 48th season of the franchise in the National Basketball Association (NBA), and the 44th in the Houston area.The Rockets finished the regular season with a 56–26 record, the third best in franchise history. They also won their first ever Southwest Division title and first Division crown since 1994. The Rockets beat the Dallas Mavericks 4–1 in the first round, advancing to the Western Conference Semifinals for the first time since 2009. They beat the Los Angeles Clippers in seven games after trailing the series 1–3, advancing to the Western Conference Finals for the first time since 1997. They became just the ninth team in NBA history to come back from such a deficit – and currently the only franchise to do so twice. The Rockets' season ended with a 1–4 loss in the Western Conference Finals to the eventual NBA champions Golden State Warriors.2015–16 Houston Rockets season
The 2015–16 Houston Rockets season was the 49th season of the franchise in the National Basketball Association (NBA), and their 45th in the Houston area.On November 18, 2015, coach Kevin McHale was fired in his fifth season as the Rockets coach after a 4–7 start to the season. J. B. Bickerstaff was named the interim coach.
The Rockets finished the regular season with a 41–41 record, finishing 8th in the Western Conference. The Rockets' season ended with a 1–4 loss in the First Round to the Golden State Warriors. Following the season, Dwight Howard left to sign with his hometown Atlanta Hawks.2016–17 Atlanta Hawks season
The 2016–17 Atlanta Hawks season was the team's 67th season of the franchise in the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the 49th in Atlanta.
The Hawks finished the regular season with a 43–39 record, securing the 5th seed. In the playoffs, they faced off against the Washington Wizards in the First Round, where they lost in six games.
Also, this was the first season since the 2006-07 season that All-Star center Al Horford was not on the Atlanta roster, as he joined the Boston Celtics during the summer.2017–18 Charlotte Hornets season
The 2017–18 Charlotte Hornets season was the 28th season of the franchise in the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the fifth season under head coach Steve Clifford. It was also the last season where Rich Cho is the general manager for the Hornets and the last where Steve Clifford is the head coach, as well as Mitch Kupchak's first year with Charlotte.
On March 28, 2018 against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Kemba Walker surpassed Dell Curry to become the franchise's all-time leader in points. The Hornets equaled their record from last season and went on to miss playoff contention for the second straight season.
On April 8, 2018, Kupchak was hired as the president of basketball operations and general manager of the Charlotte Hornets.On April 13, 2018, the Hornets' president of basketball operations and general manager Kupchak announced that the team had relieved Steve Clifford of his head coaching duties.List of National Basketball Association annual rebounding leaders
In basketball, a rebound is the act of gaining possession of the ball after a missed field goal or free throw. An offensive rebound occurs when a player recovers the ball after their own or a teammate's missed shot attempt, while a defensive rebound occurs when a player recovers the ball after an opponent's missed shot attempt. The National Basketball Association's (NBA) rebounding title is awarded to the player with the highest rebounds per game average in a given season. It was first recognized in the 1950–51 season, which was the second season after the league was created in 1949 by merger of the 3-year-old BAA and 12-year-old NBL. Players who earned rebounding titles before the 1973–74 season did not record any offensive or defensive rebounds because statistics on them were not recorded before that season. To qualify for the rebounding title, a player must appear in at least 70 games (out of 82) or have at least 800 rebounds. This has been the entry criteria since the 1974–75 season. The rebounding title was originally determined by rebound total through the 1968–69 season, after which rebounds per game was used to determine the leader instead.
Wilt Chamberlain holds the all-time records for total rebounds (2,149) and rebounds per game (27.2) in a season; both records were achieved in the 1960–61 season. He also holds the rookie records for total rebounds, with 1,941 in the 1959–60 season. Among active players, Dwight Howard has the highest season rebound total (1,161 in the 2007–08 season) and Kevin Love has the highest season rebounding average (15.23 in the 2010–11 season). At 22 years, 130 days, Howard is the youngest rebounding leader in NBA history (achieved in the 2007–08 season), while Dennis Rodman is the oldest at 36 years, 341 days (achieved in the 1997–98 season).
Chamberlain has won the most rebounding titles in his career, with 11. Dennis Rodman has won a record seven consecutive rebounding titles. Moses Malone has won six rebounding titles. Dwight Howard has won five rebounding titles. Kevin Garnett and Bill Russell have won four rebounding titles each. Elvin Hayes, Dikembe Mutombo, Hakeem Olajuwon, Ben Wallace, and DeAndre Jordan are the only other players who have won the title multiple times. Five players have won the rebounding title and the NBA championship in the same season: Mikan in 1953 with the Minneapolis Lakers; Russell in 1959, 1964, and 1965 with the Boston Celtics; Chamberlain in 1967 and 1972 with the Philadelphia 76ers and the Los Angeles Lakers; Malone in 1983 with the 76ers; and Rodman in 1996, 1997, and 1998 with the Chicago Bulls.NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award
The NBA's Defensive Player of the Year Award is an annual National Basketball Association (NBA) award given since the 1982–83 NBA season to the best defensive player of the regular season. The winner is selected by a panel of 124 sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada, each of whom casts a vote for first, second and third place selections. Each first-place vote is worth five points, second-place voted are worth three points, and a third-place vote is worth one. The player with the highest point total, regardless of the number of first-place votes, wins the award.Since its inception, the award has been given to 21 different players. Dikembe Mutombo and Ben Wallace have each won the award a record four times. Dwight Howard is the only player to have won the award in three consecutive seasons. Sidney Moncrief, Mark Eaton, Dennis Rodman, Hakeem Olajuwon, Alonzo Mourning, Kawhi Leonard, and Rudy Gobert have each won it twice. The most recent award recipient is Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz.
Although five of the first six winners were perimeter players, the award has traditionally been given to big men who rebound and block shots. Only seven perimeter players have been honored: Moncrief, Alvin Robertson, Michael Cooper, Michael Jordan, Gary Payton, Ron Artest (known now as Metta World Peace), and Kawhi Leonard. Payton is the only point guard to have won. Jordan, Olajuwon, David Robinson, and Kevin Garnett are the only Defensive Player of the Year winners to have won the NBA Most Valuable Player Award (MVP) during their careers; Jordan and Olajuwon won both awards in the same season. In Olajuwon's case, he is the only one to have also won the Bill Russell NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award and the NBA championship in the same season. On four occasions, the Defensive Player of the Year recipient was not voted to the NBA All-Defensive First Team in the same year. Robertson in 1986, Mutombo (1995), Tyson Chandler (2012), and Marc Gasol (2013) were instead named to the second team. Whereas the Defensive Player of the Year is voted on by the media, the All-Defensive teams were voted on by NBA coaches prior to 2014.Frenchman Rudy Gobert is the only winner who was trained completely outside the U.S. Out of the other three winners born outside the U.S., Mutombo and Olajuwon both played U.S. college basketball, and Gasol played U.S. high school basketball. Joakim Noah, who has played for the French national team, was born in New York City and played both high school and college basketball in the U.S.Orlando Magic
The Orlando Magic are an American professional basketball team based in Orlando, Florida. The Magic compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the league's Eastern Conference Southeast Division. The franchise was established in 1989 as an expansion franchise, and such notable NBA stars as Shaquille O'Neal, Penny Hardaway, Patrick Ewing, Grant Hill, Tracy McGrady, Steve Francis, Dwight Howard, Vince Carter, Rashard Lewis, Dominique Wilkins, and Hedo Türkoğlu have played for the club throughout its young history. As of 2019, the franchise has played in the NBA playoffs for exactly half of its existence (15 playoff appearances in 30 years), and twice went to the NBA Finals, in 1995 and 2009. Orlando has been the second most successful of the four expansion teams brought into the league in 1988 and 1989 in terms of winning percentage, only after the Miami Heat.