Oh, Dwight Howard.
For the first time in a while, D12 got through a season without too much controversy, for the most part at least, and even helped lead his team to the Western Conference Finals. But Howard stuck his foot in his mouth again on Monday when he tried to engage in a conversation on Twitter about who the greatest left-handed player of all time was. His pick? His current Rockets teammate James Harden.
Look, in terms of dumb things Dwight Howard has done, this one ranks relatively low, and of course you can’t blame him for picking his teammate, but uh…he’s not even close to being right about this.
First and foremost, any conversation about the greatest lefties of all-time has to start with Bill Russell, 11-time NBA champion, 12-time All-Star, and five-time MVP. The Finals MVP is named after him for a reason.
From there you have to look at David Robinson, Willis Reed, Bob Lanier, Dave Cowens, Nate Archibald, and Lenny Wilkens before Harden starts factoring in.
James Harden has every opportunity to play his way onto the list of great lefties in NBA history. But he’s only been in the league now for six years, and three of those were spent coming off the bench for the Thunder.
With the possible exception of Robinson, it’s arguable that no lefty has been as good of a pure scorer as Harden (maybe) but that’s not the only aspect of the game you need to look at when making these rankings, and as mentioned, Harden’s resume is nowhere near complete enough yet to rank so high.
Howard backtracked a little when he tried to clarify he was talking about just shooters…though he never mentioned that at all in his original tweet.
If we’re going to go the shooters route, Harden has a better argument, but he still probably has a ways to go to catch Chris Mullin and maybe even Gail Goodrich and Manu Ginobili would have better claims for their overall careers than Harden right now.
Again, Harden has every chance to surpass them if he continues his level of play from the last few years, specifically his MVP runner-up last season, but Howard probably should have thought twice before stoking that fire on Twitter and then trying to backtrack on it with claims that he wasn’t talking about exactly what he said he was talking about.
Or, as one follower of his put it…
(H/T All Ball Blog)