Dwyane Wade knows something about a change in scenery. The star guard is in his first season with his hometown Bulls after spending his whole career of 13 seasons with the Heat. Wade is not unlike Dwight Howard. The Hawks center joined his hometown team as a free agent this summer after spending his first 12 seasons with the Magic, Lakers and Rockets.
Wade was asked about Howard before the Hawks 115-107 victory over the Bulls Wednesday. Here is what he had to say courtesy of K.C. Johnson, the great Bulls beat reporter for the Chicago Tribune (as I was traveling back from Cleveland), including his thoughts about Howard’s new role.
“When I was in Miami and he was in Orlando, the guy was one of the best shot-blockers I’ve ever seen. The way he protected the rim, he could be at the top of the key and you could think you got a layup and he’d come out of nowhere just to protect the basket. He rebounded very well. So his athleticism when he was younger stood out.
“Now, if you look at him playing, he looks great here in Atlanta. He looks comfortable. The good thing about him being here, it doesn’t look so far like he’s caring about the numbers. Some nights, he has 20 (points). Last night, what did he have six (seven)? And they’re winning. I think he’s happy with that.
“Once you come into the league, people expect you to stay a certain way your whole time. Everyone’s not LeBron James. You can’t be a robot in the sense of never getting hurt. He had back surgery. And he still came back to be a very productive player in this league – just different than what people expected. I always respected his game and what he had to bring. It’s just different than what he had when he was younger.”
Howard had is NBA-leading sixth double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds in the win over the Bulls.