As horrible and elderly the Los Angeles Lakers roster was last season, I don’t think even the most pessimistic fan could have envisioned the amount of players on the team that still wouldn’t be signed this far into free agency. That list includes Avery Bradley, Trevor Ariza, Wayne Ellington, and Carmelo Anthony (Carmelo will probably be signed eventually but I don’t know about the others).
Dwight Howard is also included in that group, as the 2020 NBA Champion continues to look for employment in the Association. However, he may have a job to fall back on if he can’t find a team for the 2021-22 season, with that job residing in the Entertainment industry.
Yes, with a capital “E”. Specifically, in the World Wrestling sector.
Here’s what Dwight said to reporter Arash Markazi about his plans next season, and how they could easily be pivoted towards something in the WWE.
“I would love to play in the NBA. Obviously, that’s where I’ve been my whole, entire life. I love basketball, it’s my passion. I still have a few years left in me. So I would still love to play, and just end my career on a high note, a great note. And then transition to the best business in the world… the WWE.”
Dwight Howard said he would like to play in the NBA next season but is ready to transition and join the WWE if that does not happen. His NBA career began in Orlando and he said he’s open to beginning his WWE career in Orlando where the WWE Performance Center is located. pic.twitter.com/VnT0bA1LCB
— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) July 28, 2022
I actually really like Dwight. I think a lot of fellow Lakers fans would agree with me after he was a pretty key cog of the roster in the 2020 NBA Playoffs run. Remember, although he did receive decreased minutes overall as the team used many small-ball lineups, he did play great defense on Nikola Jokic in the Western Conference Finals to help the Lakers defeat the Nuggets in five games.
With that said, I do not want him back in the NBA. It’s purely selfish, as I do think Dwight could become an amazing member of the WWE roster for many, many years to come. Just take a look at his tryout at the SummerSlam pay-per-view this past weekend. Yes, it’s cheesy. Yes, he’s loud, boisterous, and annoying. And guess what? Those are perfect qualities to have for the WWE.
It would be a perfect fit, as Dwight has been nearly just as good at off-the-court tom-foolery as he was at playing basketball, especially in his early Orlando Magic years. A few of those examples are below, with most of them seeming like they could easily be clips from the comedy side of the WWE.
The road from the NBA to the WWE is already paved for Dwight, as guys like Karl Malone, Dennis Rodman, and Trae Young have made guest appearances in the WWE universe. Dwight’s long-time, off-the-court foe Shaquille O’Neal also has had a few stops in the WWE, which is fitting as it seems the two have been cutting promos of a fake wrestling rivalry for nearly two decades now.
I found out about all of this from following Dwight’s Instagram. He really seemed to be having fun around the WWE this past weekend, posting videos of his tryout as well as pictures with past and current WWE superstars. I really didn’t take his dreams of being one of those superstars seriously until I saw his interview with Markazi. And honestly, it’s starting to seem like this WWE arrival and an NBA retirement may happen at the same time as the current United States champion in the NBA, Bobby Lashley already sounds like he’s cutting promos to build a future rivalry between the two.
Here’s what Lashley said on The Ringer’s “Masked Man Show” (h/t ThirstyForNews.com):
“If he steps into the ring, I’ll spear him and chop him in half. He’s like a giant. He’s 10 foot tall. I have experience with giants. I had Omos, threw him around, and he’s half the size of Omos. I don’t think he wants to go against the All Mighty. Baby steps.”
As you can see from the video above featuring Shaq, even though there are some behemoths in WWE history, it’s even hard for most of them to measure to the stature of NBA centers. But Bobby Lashley? Well, take a look below and tell me if you think he’d be intimidated by Dwight Howard.
It would be sad to see Dwight get shut out of the NBA, especially after he was recently and unjustly kept out of the 75th Anniversary team, but he’s had one of the all-time NBA careers nonetheless and should be an automatic Hall of Famer. Instead of slowly drifting towards a life of just being a normal ole seven-footer walking around, maybe Dwight isn’t done with the spotlight.
That zany personality of his, his athleticism, and his build could help him easily continue to stay in that spotlight… but just not in the NBA… in the WWE.