Saturday, January 10, 2009

Nice to Meet You #4 - Dwight Howard

Most of wish we could spend the rest of our lives acting like we’re high schoolers (the good parts, not the bad parts), and Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard is living that dream. In the last year Howard has really stepped onto the national scene, between his famous “Superman” dunk and his Olympia gold medal in Beijing, but what really sets him apart from other NBA players is how much stinking fun he seems to have.

I’ve had a few different really smart basketball people tell me that Orlando’s locker room has the best chemistry they’ve ever seen, and that’s mostly because of what Howard brings to the table. He’s known for teasing you, especially if you look like an already-famous celebrity. In my case, if I were still twelve, that would be “Home Alone’s” Macualy Culkin. He and I were once basically blood brothers. Now, not so much.

But in a landscape where so many pro athletes are serious all the time, my few experiences with Dwight have been really light-hearted. Always smiling, always goofing around. Maybe not the nicest person at all times (there are those of us who still can’t handle being teased), but a generally good guy who’s always a pleasure whenever he comes through.

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