A little while back, we were invited to kicked it with Dwight Howard at the EA Studios in Vancouver, Canada. While going head-to-head in NBA Live 10 in a private room, we were able to fire away some questions at this season’s cover athlete about critics of his offensive skills, the time he beat Vince Carter in a dunk contest and the “100 Pushup Rule.”
Dime: When did you find out you were going to be on the cover of NBA Live?
Dwight Howard: This past year. At first I was like, “Are they lying about being on the cover?” And once I found out, I was like, “Oh, this is tight, I have to do it.’
Dime: I hear you are a serious gamer. How competitive does it get with teammates and friends?
DH: Well it’s competitive with my homeboys. We hate losing. And if somebody loses, they have to do like little bets. Like if you lose, you have to do push-ups. We play all day. One of my homeboys right here (points to his friend nearby), he used to throw the sticks down when he lost or break the controller so nobody else could play with it. So yeah, we really hate losing.
Dime: How happy are you with the authenticity of your character? Did they nail it with your moves, looks and even dance moves?
DH: It’s tight man to be honest with you. A lot of people had always talked about 2K. But after watching this game, you know just playing it for a quick second. The graphics are tight, the moves, the crowd everything, it’s very realistic. They even do the Superman. Before the game, I was doing the Soulja Boy and that was tight. It looks just how I did it, so I’m very happy about the way the game was done.
Dime: You guys made a great run to the Finals last year, but you let a couple of games get away from you. What did you take from that experience?
DH: Well, I think we beat ourselves in that series. And I just feel if we get back to the Finals we’re going to do a better job.
Dime: What do you specifically hope to improve in coming into this season?
DH: I would just say get my post game right and also my free throws. Just everything. My overall game, becoming a more complete player. I’m looking forward to next season.
Dime: You have taken a lot of criticism for both your free throw shooting and your post moves. Are you on a mission to prove people wrong?
DH: Well I’m not really focused on what people thought of my post game or post moves or whatever. My job is to go out on the court and get better every day and that’s the game plan. I’m looking forward to next season. I think we’re going to have a great season next year. A lot of teams have muscled up, we’re looking forward to the challenge, and I think we’re going be a better team next year than we were this year.
Dime: With trading for Vince Carter and losing Hedo Turkoglu, a lot has gone on with the Magic since the Finals. Are you happy with the moves?
DH: I’m very happy. I think Vince is going to do a great job for us. He’s one of the greatest players in the game today. He can do a lot of different things on the floor. He can post, he can shoot, he can pass – he’s a complete player. I look forward to playing with him, I think he’s going to make our team a lot better.
Dime: Speaking of Vince. Could you take him in his prime in a dunk contest?
DH: Actually me and Vince had a dunk contest a couple of years ago, back in Orlando. And I beat him. You can ask him. I did two dunks that he’s never even tried doing. One dunk was I took one dribble from half court and two steps and dunked the ball. Once he saw that he was like (Howard shakes his head).
Dime: We’ve seen you do a lot of impersonations from Stan Van Gundy to Shaq. Got any other guys around the League you like to impersonate?
DH: Well I used to imitate my teammate Hedo. (Dwight starts speaking in a Turkish accent) “Um, um…my name is uh…I’m Hedo Turkoglu. I play for the Toronto Raptors.” I’m working on Barkley right now. He’s pretty tough to do. I’ll have it ready by the next time I see you.
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