Dwightmare II: Hawks’ Howard is living down to his reputation

Dwight Howard, shown not playing in an elimination game. (Curtis Compton/AJC)

Know why Dwight Howard, who’s 31, is on his fourth NBA organization? Stuff like this – getting stopped for driving 95 mph on the Perimeter at 2:06 a.m. on a day when his latest team was to play an elimination game; being found to have a suspended registration and no auto insurance and then having his car towed.

One more time: Going 95 on 285 at 2:06 a.m. With what appeared to be Howard’s security team following in an SUV. (Doubtless that kept him from needing Uber post-tow.) Roughly 17 ½ hours before tipoff of an elimination game. Which the Hawks lost. In which Howard played no fourth-quarter minutes, about which he subsequently griped.

Oh, and there’s this: Dwight Howard’s uncle Paul is the Fulton County district attorney. (This happened in DeKalb, FYI.) Guessing someone in the family might have mentioned that you need insurance to drive in this state. (D. Howard did grow up here, right?)

Understand: Howard was not cited for driving under the influence. He was stopped for speeding. If every speeder in metro Atlanta were to disappear from the highways, the Perimeter could be reduced to one lane each way. I’m not trying to make this more than it is – really! – but this is yet another flashing indicator in a career that has seen a slew. Remind me again: Why did the Hawks sign this guy?

He’s no longer a great player. There are times you forget he’s on the floor. There were times in the Washington series the Hawks didn’t want him on the floor. But unless/until Paul Millsap re-ups, he’s the highest-salaried Hawk. He’s not the steady-going presence – not the player, either – that Al Horford was.

No, Howard is the guy the folks in Orlando will never forgive for putting the Magic through what became known as the Dwightmare. He’s the guy the Rockets let leave as a free agent, and a check of current events shows that Houston, with Clint Capela at center, improved from 41-41 to 57-27 and is still going in these playoffs.

Dwight Howard was once seen as one of his sport’s few indispensable men. He’s now easily dispensed with, unless you’re the team – most recently the Hawks – that just spent $70.5 million over three seasons, two of which remain. He did not make them better. (He did make them better at rebounding.) They ranked 27th among 30 clubs in offensive efficiency. They slipped from 48-34 before him to 43-39 with him.

And, as has been the case four different places, he’s not the guy who’s going to calm any roiled waters. He’s only going to roil them more. (Google “Stan Van Gundy.”) For all these reasons, he has no trade value.

I don’t know that Dwight Howard is a bad person, or even an especially bad driver. I do know that he has a now-indelible reputation as a bad fit, and he has lived down to that in his homecoming. And this latest bit, you must admit, was remarkably bad timing: Going 95 on 285 at 2:06 a.m. with a lapsed registration and no insurance on the morning of an elimination game. Holy mackerel.

And here Tony Ressler thought he only had to worry about finding a new GM.

From last month: It’s playoff time, and Dwight Howard has had little effect.

From July 2016: I’m sorry, but I don’t see a happy ending for Howard and the Hawks.

Reader Comments 0

32 comments
phoenixsoul84
phoenixsoul84

Publicly targeting a grown man over a traffic ticket and being out late?  The guy clearly doesn't work a 9 to 5, and insurance issues can happen for a myriad of reasons.  Hardly a Dwightmare.  Actually Bradley, you're living down to your reputation as a weasel journalist chasing low-hanging fruit.

patriotdog
patriotdog

Danny Ferry would never have signed this loser. Of course, Ferry had the nerve to read someone else's racist words and got fired, with Bradley and Schultz leading the way. Come to think of it, those two wrote the offending words in their columns....using the same logic, shouldn't they be fired, as well?

Kensdobs
Kensdobs

@patriotdog Isn't it rather revealing that Ferry got fired for reading comments made by a scout & made public by a vindictive owner?


Yet, the scout that wrote the racist comments was protected because his name was never revealed.

If he was punished, why was is kept a secret? 


Maybe, just maybe, those type of racist comments & assumptions are frequently made within NBA management circles. 


After all, he was reading them to his boss, & was under the assumption he was reading them in confidence. And his boss was the one who stabbed him in the back & made the comments public. 


Obviously the comments themselves weren't the issue with the NBA, which is why the scout who made the comments was never revealed or punished. 


If he was punished, why was it kept a secret? The real issue was having the racist comments made public, which embarrassed the NBA, & Ferry was used as the scapegoat & severely punished. 


I'll bet you won't ever hear of another person reading &/or going public with racist comments from a scouting report again.

ImaNitwit
ImaNitwit

But Mr Howard is a born again Christian....what a freakin joke

devounknown1000
devounknown1000


Mark Bradley what worse Coach Bud D.U.I Charge or D8 speeding ticket.


moboman
moboman

@devounknown1000 Speeding ticket is not a character issue.  Lack of insurance or registration?  2AM on a game day? Indication of a lack of seriousness about his life and/or profession, which is evident to many in his play.  As Rex Chapman stated in another article, you get the impression that he is serious about things about 20% of the time.  

patriotdog
patriotdog

They are the same. Point of the article is that DH hasn't made the team better. Bud has, when given a roster worth coaching.

devounknown1000
devounknown1000

Hopefully you never get behind the wheel while drunk Bro

Bet your speeding right now as you read this post.


@patriotdog  They are not the same patriotdog, one is worse than other.



kevkat
kevkat

Hmmm, I wonder do  you highlight previous comments you've made when you've been wrong Mark. 

Ackshun
Ackshun

Average speed on 285 most days is 85-95 mph.  A vehicle registration can be suspended in GA simply by going from one insurer to the next or missing a single insurance payment.  DH was out late on a game day but the rest of this is something that could happen to anybody and is in no way reflective of his talent or character.  This team needs to find the formula to use this guy.  But a slam piece for a simple traffic violation? I've come to expect better from Mark Bradley.

DawginLex
DawginLex

I'd rather discuss us sweeping the nerds in baseball after whipping them in basketball. And YOU KNOW what's coming this fall.............

Back to normal at The Joke by Coke or SANFORD WEST

Another win for UGA

And TOJacket the wimp still won't take my bet

I know why

Bryar Michon
Bryar Michon

I'm just guessing but would think most people would be arrested on the spot

ByteMe
ByteMe

Ressler got it right: Bud and Wilcox no longer needed to be responsible for player personnel choices.  Get a GM that understands the system Bud wants to coach and have him get the players Bud needs to succeed.


DH was never going to be that player.  Ever.  It's not his nature.

TheRealJay
TheRealJay

Not apologizing for Dwight, but last year's team did have Teague who the Hawks replaced with a Rookie from the euro league. They also has Korver who ended up being more of a shell of himself than he was last year.

JK1957
JK1957

Bad signing from Day 1. Man-Child who is spoiled, petulant and over-priced.

atlson
atlson

Mark Bradley, Dwight Howard is who he is a 16 point 13 rebound player who can't shoot free throws. Howard is not a secret he's been in the NBA for 13 years.Dwight can't shoot three point shots but neither can Kent Bazemore or any other role player! Coach Bud should get players who fit his system! What is this Hawks team definition? Get back with me when you find out!

Dis custed
Dis custed

I still like Dwight... he's ok.. everyone chill there's two years left and we need this to work out.

darknight
darknight

Mark 

I can't believe your comments.  Why are you complaining about his play.  The Hawks knew what they were getting when they sign him.  DH is a sensitive player so no need to complain about a guy who wants to be on the court during crunch time.  DH is a 15 points 10 rebound a night player.  It's not his fault that Coach Bud and a young PG are fail to feed him the ball when he has his man pinned in the paint.  DH is no longer the center piece superstar but he should be a key contributor to this team.  It is up to Coach Bud to make it a priority and it is up to you to get off his back.

ManicMike
ManicMike

@darknight Dark Knight is absolutely right. There were 3 or 4 possessions in a row multiple times during the regular season when Dwight didn't even touch the D*mn ball. Why get him here if you going to pay him $25M to get rebounds and block 1.5 shots per game. They could of gotten some 7'2" Eastern European dude to do that for a sold 3-5 Million like that Bosnian dude in Portland. And I completely despise German Mooslim Schroeder.  He's erratic and wish they had kept Naptown Teague.  Offense actually was ran when he was here instead of Atlanta's version of Russel Westbrook looking to pad his own stat box instead of running the team. He's trash. Hawks need to let Millsap walk and the entire starting 5 walk and tank until Lebron retires.  Collect high drafts picks and hope that one of those pick is a superstar. A SUPERSTAR they have been clamoring for since idiot Lenny Wilkins-Stan Kasten-Pete Babcock traded Dominique when they were 1st in the Central Division.

RCCole
RCCole

you itchin and moaning about a speeding ticket???? Really

housebroken706
housebroken706

@RCCole No... he's itching and moaning about a guy who doesn't take his profession as seriously as he should. And don't say "DH" takes it seriously... a career free-throw percentage in the low 50s says all you need to know about DH.


McGarnagle
McGarnagle

Howard always had a childish behavior about him. He lacked any leadership qualities. Too bad because he's extremely gifted and could have been an all time great. Our expectations have been tepid. Let spent the next two years finding Howards replacement.

RogerBurke
RogerBurke

i dont think its just him look at all the athletes baseball, basketball football grown men spoiled with lots of money doing enough to get by on the court field. they would perform better for fines for underperforming and pay cuts for the same.

OH:IO
OH:IO

Ranks up the w/ dog Holyfield smoking dope in the dorm continuing the dog time- honored tradition: THC! THC! 


The difference? The dog got arrested. Howard didn't. 

tipstotips
tipstotips

Might be the stupidest post ever.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@tipstotips

And that's saying a load--given the steady avalanche of mindless, depraved posts oh:io proudly displays. 

DawgLink
DawgLink

What a freaking joke of a statement. Ask your boy Cryer about THC, Florida, and murder