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Dwight Howard Ditches Superman Moniker for Iron Man

PHOENIX - FEBRUARY 14:  Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic emerges from a phone booth wearing a Superman cape during the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest on All-Star Saturday Night, part of 2009 NBA All-Star Weekend at US Airways Center on February 14, 2009 in Phoenix, Arizona.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
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Nicholas GossCorrespondent IJanuary 5, 2017

Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard is ready to use a different superhero as his nickname moving forward, according to Dan Woike of the Orange County Register.

On @twcsportsnet #Lakers broadcast, Dwight Howard said he no longer wants to be called "Superman." New nickname? "Ironman."

— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) October 8, 2012

It's understandable that Howard wants to change his nickname from "Superman," because there are so many athletes who have it as their nickname that it wasn't something unique to Howard.

Given Howard's recent feud with former Lakers legend Shaquille O'Neal, who was also nicknamed "Superman" (among many others), maybe Howard wanted to have a nickname that wasn't associated with the future Hall of Famer.

The real question is, why would Howard choose "Iron Man"?

We usually label players in all sports as "iron men" when they show a remarkable level of durability and continue to play games even when injuries make it hard for them to do so.

When fans think of players using "Iron Man" in nicknames, one of the first that comes to mind is former Baltimore Orioles star and baseball Hall of Famer Cal Ripken, Jr., who was nicknamed "The Ironman" because of his record for consecutive games played.

To his credit, Howard had never missed more than four games in a single season until last year and played in every single game during the first four years of his career. However, his recovery from back surgery could potentially force Howard to miss a number of games to start the 2012-13 season, though at this time that is unclear.

The nickname "Iron Man" could apply to Howard, but even if it fits, you don't get to nickname yourself. That's not how it works.

Once Howard gets on the floor with his Lakers teammates and begins his career in purple and gold, fans and the media will probably come up with a cool nickname for him if he really doesn't want to use "Superman" anymore.

Howard should be more focused on learning the Lakers offense and preparing himself both physically and mentally for the new season. Nicknames are the last thing that Howard should be thinking about with the regular season just a few weeks away.

 

Nicholas Goss is an NBA and NHL Featured Columnist at Bleacher Report

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