The aura of Dwight Howard, the larger than life athlete, that presence you used to feel about him on the court, that beastliness, that man-child presence, is gone.
This has nothing to do with how he left Orlando or Los Angeles. As a Laker fan, I'm over it.
But when I'm watching the games, I can't even tell that he's on the court sometimes. He used to be huge, he had large size, his body mass would cover up the width of the majority of the paint. But now, physically he's gotten so small that sometimes I mistake him for Terrence Jones. Those 2 guys look alike (only Dwight has a few inches on him).
I no longer see that superman type of blocks, him being able to push guys out of the paint, that decisiveness on the offensive end, the ability to finish around the rim like he once used to.
Once upon a time from I would say 2008-2010/2011, I would call him a top 3 or 4 player along the likes of LeBron, Chris Paul and Kobe. He was probably the 2nd most impactful player of the new generation era behind LeBron. If franchises were starting their team, Dwight would be a top 2 or 3 pick. Some yrs ago, even Phil said that out of everyone in the league no named Kobe, he would start his team with Dwight Howard.
That time is gone, and he looks like a shell of his former self, and he has now hit basically the end of his 10th yr.
I would say that the back surgery and shoulder injury last yr did him damage, but I never knew it would affect him so much explosively on both ends of the floor. I also feel he has become much mentally weaker. HE used to be the guy pushing guys around, and now I see him in stretches of a game where he gets pushed around.
I don't know, I miss seeing that dominant, exciting, superhuman man-child Dwight Howard that we once used to know.