Dwight Howard knew he’d hear boos in Orlando, so he decided to get out in front of it and join the chorus.
The former Magic star was back in Florida with the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday and heard heckles and plenty of booing from the Amway Center crowd. In the second quarter, he decided to join in on the fun.
Howard checked into the game and got a touch on the ball before Jeff Green took a free throw for the Magic. The crowd noticed Howard and booed him, and Howard himself booed for a bit before giving the ball up to an official.
Considering Howard, um, didn’t leave Orlando on good terms, it’s expected he’s going to get a hard time from the crowd there, but at least he’s having fun with it. Howard had 13 points and 12 rebounds in 30 minutes on Wednesday in the Hawks’ 111-92 road win.
Howard was asked about the crowd reaction after the game, and he denied any animosity toward Magic fans.
It’s all good. I had a wonderful eight years here. It didn’t end the way all of us wanted it to end but it’s always good to remember the good things instead of the bad. We had some good moments here and if they boo me, I can’t do nothing but respect it and move on. I enjoyed it here, I enjoyed the fans, the city, and all that. I never had any malice toward the fans here.
Howard appears to be a changed man in Atlanta this season. Until, that is, you heckle him, and he challenges you to a fight. Maybe he heard how loud the boos were and didn’t want to fight multiple people from Florida. That never turns out well.