Dwight Howard has been egged on so much in the last year we could see a mean streak like never before from him, and that’s saying something. We’re not dismissing the fact almost ALL of this has been self-inflicted damage on his part, but he’s seen hate like few others in NBA history. The latest chapter should inspire him to get healthy and get into a Laker game uniform faster than ever — and we think we know the target of his rage already. Shaq has been sparring with Howard at a distance ever since their silly “No, I’m Superman” tiff a few years back. O’Neal came out today and said he prefers Brook Lopez and Andrew Bynum over Howard as a premier post player in the league. O’Neal is one of the most loquacious players the NBA has ever seen, but he doesn’t know what he’s talking about with this. Even if you’re out to undercut Howard at every chance you can, like Shaq has been for a year, it weakens your own argument when your points make absolutely zero sense. Howard has a mean streak that’s underrated because of his sometimes childish mood. But Bynum makes questionable decisions and still has trouble passing out of double teams, whereas Howard keeps his eyes up for cutters and engages his defenders underneath instead of trying to go around them. Lopez has far inferior footwork to Howard and is not even close as an inside defensive presence. It doesn’t make sense to have Shaq take those guys over Howard, even if he’s injured. Meanwhile, it makes a ton of sense for Howard to double down in his games against Philly and Brooklyn and tear up Bynum and Lopez. Blame it on Shaq, guys. … Allen Iverson and Jason Williams were two of the most entertaining guards in the past 20 seasons, almost forcing you to tune in in case they threw a pass off the elbow or dropped 40 while playing with a bruised rib. They’re two of Dime‘s favorite players of all time. So how great is it that they’ll be back together playing for the Professional Basketball Alumni Association’s all-star team in China, when the team matches up with the Beijing Ducks? The game will be in Beijing and have Nate “Tiny” Archibald as its coach. Joining the Americans are Damon Jones, Charoy Bentley, Shane Burrell, Zendon Hamilton, J.R. Inman, J.R. Reid (!) and dunk specialist Guy “Easy J” Dupuy. Some might think this would be a bad idea in case these two’s games have fallen apart to the point where it’s embarrassing, but we think it’s great. The two headliners were natural entertainers in their heyday, and even if their jumpers have fallen off considerably, they’re still going to bring the excitement. Their playing styles were like All-Star Games anyway, so this should be great. We’re not so sure AI can play a full 48 minutes anymore but let him try. … Hit the jump to see which Memphis legend is back to being a big player in the city’s hoops. …
Smack / Oct 5, 2012 / 2:30 am
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