As of this morning, I am a big fan of Dwight Howard.
I was listening to Boomer and Carton on the FAN this morning on my way to the train, and caught the tail-end of an interview they did with him. Several things struck me as interesting. First, for an NBA star to get up at 8 am or possibly earlier to do a press tour is dedicated. Even more so that he wasn’t doing it for himself, but to publicize his association with Doublemint and the Double-Double Challenge, which provides $250 to Prevent Child Abuse America every time Howard gets a double-double (just to note, by my count, Howard so far has 60 double-doubles. $15,000.)
But what I really loved was when they asked him about this year’s Slam Dunk Contest, when he played along with Nate Robinson’s Krypto-Nate act.
If you don’t know, last year Howard whipped out a Superman costume and threw down a ferocious, high-flying dunk to win.
So this year, Nate Robinson played on that, and had Howard stand there, in his cape, while Nate jumped over him to dunk.
Nate’s dunk was amazing (not sure it was better than Howard dunking on a 12-foot rim, but whatever), but it’s only amazing because Howard played along.
So Carton asked him why he did it, even though it made Nate’s dunk look much better. So Howard responded that he didn’t care about winning the Dunk Contest, it’s about the fan, having fun and giving them what they want to see. Howard even knew about it in advance, and let Nate practice it a couple of times. Howard knew he would be possibly letting Nate win, but it made for a great show for the fans, so he went along with.
Dwight Howard “gets it.” He set his ego aside, and participated in something purely for fan enjoyment. I like that. A lot.