Lakers Video: Dwight Howard Shines In Debut For Taoyuan Leopards
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Dwight Howard became a cult figure among the Los Angeles Lakers fanbase despite his difficult first stint in L.A.

Howard first joined the Lakers back in 2012, forming what was expected to be a formidable Big 3 with Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash. However, the three-time Defensive Player of the Year left L.A. just after one year following a disappointing season, marred by his conflict with Bryant.

However, the former No. 1 pick redeemed himself nearly a decade later, penning a minimum contract with the Purple and Gold to help the team claim its 17th NBA championship in 2019-20. Howard then spent one season with the Philadelphia 76ers before returning to L.A. for the third time in 2021-22.

Howard was reportedly hoping to run it back with the Lakers, but he found himself out of the NBA this season, prompting the 36-year-old to sign with the Taiwanese team Taiyuan Leopards in the T1 League. And he made a splash in his debut on Nov. 19, putting up 38 points, 25 rebounds, nine assists and four blocks, via Ballislife:

Howard seemingly had a lot of fun in his return to the court, running pick-and-rolls as the ball-handler and pulling off fadeaway jump shots. He was also trying his luck from downtown, ending up making two triples on 10 attempts (20%) and showing once again his potential to become a stretch 5 late in his career.

In the center’s last season with the Lakers, Howard sank eight of the 15 3-pointers he attempted (53.3%). In his last two NBA campaigns, he made 35 attempts from deep after firing 68 3-pointers over the previous 16 seasons combined, knocking down just 13.2% of them.

Triple H says Ball is in Howard’s court to join WWE

Howard doesn’t hide his passion for wrestling; the future Hall-of-Famer even tried out for WWE earlier this year. The center has also said he could see himself joining the promotion in the future.

And WWE executive Paul Levesque A.K.A. Triple H has said that “the ball’s in his court” when discussing Howard’s chances of making the WWE cast, telling the big man to make the move when he feels ready to begin his wrestling career.

“Really driven to want to do this, it’s just a matter for him, he’s got a lot of things going on, right?” Levesque said. “So when he says,’ Hey I want to give this a shot,’ he’s got my phone number. All he’s gotta do is call me, and we’ll see what can happen.”

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