Where as Andrew Bynum was far from the stage to begin the NBA Draft, Dwight Howard had a table in the “Green Room” expecting to be the first named called by David Stern.
Howard was selected by the Orlando Magic in the 2004 NBA Draft as the first overall draft pick. In his senior year of high school at Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy, Howard averaged 25.5 ppg, 18.3 rpg and 8.0 bpg.
Unlike Andrew Bynum, Howard was expected to make an immediate impact for his struggling team. Howard was quickly inserted into the Magic’s starting five and appeared in all 82 games his rookie season.
Howard’s league-wide popularity soured and he was a fan-favorite for his spectacular blocks and breathtaking dunks. In his rookie season Howard was already averaging a double-double and was looked at as the next great center.
In each of his six seasons in the NBA, Howard has averaged a double-double and has been named to the Eastern Conference All-Star team five times. More importantly, Howard was named the NBA’s Defensive Player of Year for three straight seasons (2008-2011), and became the first player to achieve such notoriety.
Dwight Howard reached the NBA’s biggest stage in 2009 when he led his Magic team to the NBA Finals. Although Bynum and the Lakers were crowned champions in Orlando, Howard’s respect and admiration around the league grew.
The NBA has never seen an athlete quite like Howard, and for that very reason people consider him the best center in the league. Howard is sitting atop the throne, and has been enjoying his time in the NBA in all his six seasons.
Next: The Deciding Game