It’s all fun and games until they start saying you’re soft.
It isn’t common to see a 6’11” 265 pound man being called soft or weak, but that seems to be a reoccurring theme in the career of NBA superstar Dwight Howard. During Sunday’s game which pitted the Houston Rockets against the Oklahoma City Thunder, a brief shouting match ensued between players from both teams. The highlight of the skirmish was between injured Thunder star Kevin Durant and Howard. OKC’s swingman repeatedly called Howard a “kitty cat”, in much more vulgar terms of course. Folks were shocked by this for two reasons; 1) Durant is currently nursing a broken leg and 2) he is one of nicest guys in professional sports. This comes on the heels of Houston’s center being called soft on live TV by former teammate Kobe Bryant during a game earlier in the season.
Now, retired NBA Hall of Fame point guard Gary Payton has weighed in. While discussing the topic on Fox Sports Live, The Glove insinuated that Howard is heavily disliked by current and former NBA players due to his false sense of bravado and often times childlike behavior.
“I think he’s disliked by a lot of players. What Dwight does is, you know you see all the smiles and all the antics, that is getting on player’s nerves. To get this guy, Kevin Durant, to do what he did, you know it’s starting to become a problem with players, because Kevin Durant doesn’t really talk to anybody … [Durant] goes at people that are fake with stuff. Only fake guys. Fake guys to me are when they’re always woofing woofing woofing, and they don’t really do nothing.”
Though it is now coming to the forefront, this isn’t anything new. It has been reported that years ago NBA tough guy Kevin Garnett used to taunt Howard up and down the floor with chants like “paint your face, clown!”. Ouch!
When Payton was asked whether or not he would talk trash to Howard, who whose got a height and weight advantage over him, he sternly proclaimed:
“Yes I would. Dwight Howard wouldn’t even come to nowhere where I was on the streets neither. He don’t wanna do that.”
Looks like Howard’s colleagues in NBA have had enough of his goofball antics.