Every famous athlete has his naysayers, it just comes with the territory. You just cannot please all the people all of the time. Dwight Howard is no exception, but Dwight takes it to another level. He has an exceptional knack for generating strong feelings of dislike. In fact, he may be the most un-liked NBA star of all time. Though he has been a superstar playing for the Magic, Lakers and Rockets in his career, he has done so in the midst of a constant barrage of harsh words and iron feelings.
He has a history of leaving clubs unceremoniously; without concern for those whose toes he steps on as he walks out the door. Some say he doesn’t work to improve his game, others say he complains too much. He has been harassed for missing to many free-throws, committing dumb fouls, and getting too many technicals. Some NBA greats point to a lack of offensive production, claiming he has no offensive game. Yet Dwight continues to be his charismatic, happy go lucky, goofball self with his boyish good looks and a $25 million smile. Why exactly do so many people hate Dwight Howard? In the following paragraphs we will see the top 15 people who dislike Dwight Howard, and see if we can get to the bottom of the “why?".
15 Tim Duncan
Dwight Howard has the utmost respect for the legendary center Tim Duncan. That respect is warranted, as Duncan has proven himself over the years and has demonstrated that he has the complete basketball player package. However, that respect is not mutual. Tim was seen laughing at Howard during one of his referee rants in 2013. It would appear that Duncan thinks Howard is ridiculous and needs to sit down and stop being a baby.
14 Kevin Garnett
Kevin Garnett has had a special hatred for Dwight Howard for many years and has been vocal about it. Last season he publicly called him soft, after Howard bragged about receiving more All-Star votes. The two had an incident where Garnett head-butted Howard, and Howard slapped him back. Come on guys, can’t you play nice? In fairness, Kevin Garnett has his share of enemies as well in the NBA.
13 Austin Rivers
The guard for the L.A. Clippers tweeted his opinion on Dwight Howard back before Rivers was an NBA superstar. He said “Man Dwight Howard is way too corny for me” in 2011. At the time Rivers was only 18 years old. Since then Rivers has become star in his own right playing now for his father, coach Doc Rivers – becoming the first player in history to play for his father.
12 Shaquille O’Neal
Shaq Diesel, the legendary heavyweight center has frequently weighed in on Dwight Howard over the years. He has been relentless in his criticism, calling him out on his lack of intensity. His claims include that Howard is too nice, too playful, and ironically criticized him for his low free throw percentage. Go figure.
11 Hakeem Olajuwon
“The Dream” shimmied and shook his Rockets to two titles in the 90s. He truly is a legend. Dwight had the opportunity of a lifetime to work with Hakeem on Howard’s offensive repertoire when first joining the Rockets. They spent hours together, Hakeem teaching and showing him some of his “shakes and bakes.” Following that time together, Hakeem has been very disappointed in seeing so little of it translate into Dwight’s game. He has been very unimpressed with his progress and sees him missing too many opportunities. It’s like he didn’t really value what was offered to him, and was too arrogant to change anything.
10 Kareem Abdul Jabbar
The great Laker from the past had the opportunity to put in his two sense: “he is charming, he’s charismatic, very nice young man. Maturity-wise, he doesn’t get it.” Furthermore, Jabbar doesn’t think he has an offensive move. Dwight doesn’t seem to know what to do when he gets the ball. He needs to pick up a sky hook or something, but he is too one dimensional.
9 Kevin Durant
The star forward for the Thunder was on the bench resting an injury in November 2014 when the Rockets and the Thunder had a clash on the court that spilled over to the sidelines. In the chaos, the often silent Kevin Durant got in Howard’s face and had some expletives to describe his distaste for him - essentially calling him a wuss.
8 Stan Van Gundy
Stan Van Gundy was Dwight’s coach in Orlando. After five successful seasons as their coach and leading them to the 2009 NBA finals, the Magic fired Van Gundy in 2012. The reason was Dwight Howard, the superstar center for the Magic at the time, called for him to be fired. The Magic’s management did not want to lose Howard who would become a free agent that year, so they acquiesced. Ironically, they lost Howard anyway. He has all the reason in the world to have hard feelings towards Howard.
7 Kobe Bryant
From the year in Laker history that could have been something special but turned out to be an absolute disaster. With Steve Nash, Dwight Howard, and Kobe all on the same team, it certainly should have translated to a championship. However, personality clashes between Dwight and Kobe were a huge problem. Dwight wanted Kobe to be traded – as if the Lakers would choose Howard over Bryant.
Recently, while playing Howard’s Rockets Kobe contested a rebound and got upset about Howard’s elbow throw. Kobe and Howard went back and forth with a war of words, Kobe calling him “soft”. They have never liked each other, and probably never will.
6 Gary Payton
The former star point guard, nicknamed “The Glove” has been vocal about Dwight Howard. After Kevin Durant’s open disdain of Howard, Payton went on record on Fox Sports Live to say that he agreed with him. He said that he thought Howard was disliked by a lot of players. “All the smiles and all the antics are getting on people’s nerves... Kevin Durant goes after people who are fake with stuff... If Kevin Durant goes after a guy like that it means this is really becoming a problem with players.”
5 Jameer Nelson
The former point guard and Dwight Howard's teammate in Orlando was upset when in March 2013 Howard made the statement that his Magic team that helped get him to the NBA finals was “full of people that nobody wanted”. To say that it angered his former teammates would be putting it mildly. These are men that put it all on the line with him, and built relationships together. Dwight would not have made it to the finals without them, and it was very arrogant to suggest otherwise.
4 J.J. Redick
Another former teammate of Howard in Orlando responded to the same accusations by saying he was not surprised by Howard’s comments. He implied that Howard is the kind of guy who is selfish and likes to take all the credit when things go well, but not take any of the blame when things go wrong. Howard has made a career out of running and pointing the finger at other people. Perhaps in the twilight of his career he will grow up, step up and be the man he has all the potential to be. Maybe he won’t.
3 Royce Reed
Royce is one of Dwight’s ex-girlfriends. They originally met during the 2005-06 season. At that time she was an Orlando Magic dancer. She became one of the original cast members of “Basketball Wives” on VH1. She is the mother of one of his children, a son named Braylon. Over the last 10 years there have been numerous lawsuits and drama to prove their mutual dislike for one another. As often is the case with “gold-diggers” the battle almost always involves more child support.
2 Tiffany Render
Tiffany is one of Dwight’s exes. She is from Jacksonville and is currently being supported by Dwight Howard. In 2013 they supposedly struck a secret deal that he would send $10,000 per month in support of their daughter Layla. The mother and child live in Orlando, Florida. Tiffany sued Howard in 2015 claiming that Howard has not been living up to his end of the deal, and believes that $10,000 per month is not enough child support for their 4-year-old daughter together. She might not like Dwight anymore, but she certainly likes his paycheck.
1 The other six baby mamas
Yep you read that right. Dwight Howard has at least eight total children with eight different women. Now imagine if all eight of them got the same kind of child support as Tiffany Render. Dwight, I think you need start being more careful around your lady friends. You won’t have any money left by the time your career is over.