Dwight Howard said he wanted to return to the Los Angeles Lakers for another year during his 2022-23 exit interview, but L.A. seemingly preferred to bring in younger centers in free agency.
The Lakers have already signed Thomas Bryant and Damian Jones, and rumors claim Indiana Pacers big man Myles Turner can still join the Purple and Gold. L.A. also has Anthony Davis, who will likely continue to play at the 5 next season — even if not as often as in 2022-23.
But if another season in the NBA isn’t in the cards, Howard has seemingly figured out his next career step. The 36-year-old made a surprise appearance at a WWE tryout in Nashville ahead of the 2022 “SummerSlam” that will take place at the Tennessee Titans’ home, Nissan Stadium, on Saturday.
NBA writer Arash Markazi shared a video of Howard taking on the role of Sho’nuff in a tryout promo, a character inspired by the antagonist of the same name from the 1985 movie “The Last Dragon” — which he dressed as for Halloween last year:
Dwight Howard was a surprise participant at the WWE Tryout in Nashville today. He told me he legit wants to join the WWE one day. pic.twitter.com/LiUnNqPsdv
— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) July 28, 2022
Howard then channeled Sho’nuff in promos with other tryout attendees, asked coaches how to safely take a hit in the ring, and chatted with Paul Levesque a.k.a Triple H, the WWE’s new head of creative.
The 6-foot-10 center also told Markazi that even though he still hopes to return to the NBA and end his basketball career on a “high note,” he can’t wait to transition into wrestling:
“I think it is something that’s in my future. I love the WWE. I love wrestling. I love being part of something that’s going to build up our kids, their character, and stuff like that and the WWE is a part of it. So I’m grateful and thankful for this opportunity to be here and witness this whole thing, tryouts, and everything. Hopefully one day, I’ll actually be in the ring, wrestling and holding up a belt.
“I would love to play in the NBA. That’s where I’ve been my whole entire life. I love basketball, it’s my passion. I still have years left in me. So I would definitely love to play and just end my career on a high note, great note and transition to the best business in the world. … I can’t wait to see where this goes. I’m looking forward to meet all the superstars. I’ve met the ones that are coming up now to be the next superstars. I want to meet all the legends and one day become a WWE legend myself.”
Howard spent three seasons with the Lakers in three separate stints, winning the 2020 NBA championship along the way. Last year, he averaged 6.2 points and 5.9 rebounds in 60 games for the Purple and Gold.
Howard has interest in joining Nets
Although it seems Howard might not run it back with the Lakers, the big man has been mentioned as a potential target for the Brooklyn Nets.
And the interest is mutual, as the center said he “would love” to sign with Brooklyn.
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