Dwight Howard's been a polarizing figure in the NBA since his days with the Orlando Magic, and it's gone beyond simple fan frustration. Who can forget former teammate Kobe Bryant repeatedly calling him "soft as a motherf-----"?
The fact is, Howard has never been a clubhouse favorite with any of the four teams he's played for up until now, and another anecdote seems to have come from the Atlanta Hawks - who traded him to the Charlotte Hornets in June.
"I've heard multiple stories of Hawks players learning about the trade and screaming with jubilation into their phones," ESPN's Zach Lowe relayed on his Lowe Post Podcast.
"One account was that Dwight would give these speeches before the game about how everyone is playing hard, we want unity, we're going to … and then go out and play like a blah game where he demands post touches and doesn't rotate as hard as he could. And everyone is like, 'why are you speaking in the locker room?' But that’s all anecdotal. It's just crazy how these stories come out after every stop in his career."
That's essentially been the case each time Howard has left a team. His Houston Rockets tenure came to a close amid rumors of discord with James Harden, and the Magic traded him to the Lakers after he had coach Stan Van Gundy fired.
Howard's game has lent itself to frustration as well. Always a one-dimensional offensive center, in recent years the stout skill that won him three Defensive Player of the Year awards has waned.
Howard, who turns 32 in December, has two years and about $48 million left on his contract. Meanwhile the Hawks are clearly entering a rebuild after saying farewell to Howard and power forward Paul Millsap.