Dwight Howard Wants to Change Perception Around Him During Time with Wizards

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistJuly 5, 2018

Charlotte Hornets center Dwight Howard (12) reacts during the second half of the team's NBA basketball game against the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday, March 21, 2018, in New York. Brooklyn Nets guard Allen Crabbe (33) and forward Quincy Acy (13) watch a video replay. The Hornets won 111-105. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
Kathy Willens/Associated Press

Dwight Howard will reportedly try to rehabilitate his image in the nation's capital.

Appearing on the latest episode of the Wizards Tipoff Podcast (h/t NBC Sports.com's Michaela Johnson), NBC Sports Washington's Chris Miller said Howard is going to try to shed his reputation for poisoning every locker room he walks into: 

"Dwight has worn out his welcome in the last four places he’s been: Houston, LA, Charlotte and Atlanta, his hometown. From what I've been told by a source, he wants to change the narrative on him, what people perceive of him. ... I’m excited about him. I went from being 'okay' to being excited about him. Because from what I heard, he's trying to change the image of him coming into a team and wearing out his welcome."

Howard was a divisive figure in Orlando, Los Angeles, Houston and Atlanta, and former NBA center Brendan Haywood made it clear during an appearance on SiriusXM NBA Radio (h/t Slam's Marcel Mutoni) that the Hornets were fed up with his antics: 

"The locker room hated Dwight Howard. I'm not sure if Charlotte is rebuilding or if they're just trying to get Dwight Howard out of there, but it was clear the locker room did not like Dwight Howard.

"It's simply because of how he goes about his business day-to-day in that locker room," Haywood added. "Now he's not the guy going around slapping people in the face. But [he's] hard to deal with, doesn't accept responsibility, cries a lot, has bad tendencies, awful body language. So all these things contributed to why he was shipped out of Charlotte … People I talked to behind the scenes, guys were just sick and tired of his act.”

Looking ahead, the Washington Wizards will have to hope Howard succeeds in his efforst to be an exemplary teammate. 

According to The Athletic's Jared Weiss, Howard and the Wizards have agreed to a one-year deal for the taxpayer mid-level exception ($5.3 million) that will be finalized once he receives a buyout from the Brooklyn Nets

Howard's trade from the Hornets to the Nets can be finalized as early as 12:01 a.m. ET Friday.