Dwight Howard vs. Emeka Okafor: The 2004 NBA Draft Revisited

Brandon Ribak@reebokforthreeSenior Writer IFebruary 18, 2009

"With the first pick in the NBA 2004 draft, the Orlando Magic select Dwight Howard out of Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy in Atlanta,Georgia."

-David Stern

Now let's all rewind back to the seconds right before David Stern announced the Orlando Magic's pick.

Many fans wanted the Magic to draft the National Player of the Year candidate, Emeka Okafor, out of the University of Connecticut.

Standing 6'10" and weighing 250 pounds, Okafor was the talk around the NBA averaging 17.6 PPG, 11.5 RPG, and 4.1 BPG during his junior year for UConn. He was expected to become a very powerful player in the NBA and pretty much dominate the league with no problem whatsoever.

Now let's go back to David Stern's announcement about the Orlando Magic drafting Dwight Howard as their first pick of the NBA 2004 Draft.

Fans from all around must have been like, "Who the heck is this guy? Is he better than Emeka Okafor?"

Fast-forward to the year 2009. Dwight Howard is one of the biggest franchise faces in the entire NBA, is known as Superman all around the world, and is, without a doubt, dominating the league.

Emeka Okafor is absolutely nowhere to be found.

Last night, fans got the golden opportunity to watch Howard take on Okafor and the Charlotte Bobcats in an intense battle that ended in an overtime duel.

Howard ended the game with a career-high 45 points, 19 rebounds, and eight blocks, while Okafor posted less points (14) and had just one more rebound than Howard had blocks (nine total rebounds).

At the end of the day, despite Jameer Nelson's sudden injury ending his season, the entire Magic organization should give themselves a Superman pat on the back for such a magnificent draft pick in the 2004 NBA Draft.


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.