Dwight Howard has had a full career.
He has played 11 NBA seasons, made eight All-Star games, won three Defensive Player of the Years, received MVP votes in five seasons (including a second-place finish), gone to the NBA Finals, been traded, experienced free agency, suffered major injury and returned to dominate again.
If he retired right now, he’d probably make the Hall of Fame.
But Howard isn’t even 30 yet, and he says he’s not closing to quitting.
Howard, via Calvin Watkins of ESPN:
“Y’all acting like I’m about to retire,” Howard said. “I mean, I feel good. I’m 29 years old regardless of me being in the league for 12 years, I’m fairly young. I got about a good 10 years left in me. I’m going to give everything I got for these 10, 11 years I got left.”
If Howard plays 11 more years, he’d break the record for NBA seasons. The current leaderboard:
1. Robert Parish, 21
1. Kevin Willis, 21
3. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, 20
3. Kevin Garnett, 20
5. Kobe Bryant, 19
5. James Edwards, 19
5. Juwan Howard, 19
5. Jason Kidd, 19
5. Karl Malone, 19
5. Moses Malone, 19
5. Shaquille O’Neal, 19
5. Charles Oakley, 19
5. John Stockton, 19
I think 10 more seasons is very unlikely for Howard, who turned pro out of high school. He played just 41 games last year.
Howard, if really pressed on the issue, might even admit that’s overly ambitious.
But I don’t think this was Howard setting a timetable for his career. I think he mostly just wants to remind people that he’s only 29 and has plenty left in the tank.
Howard’s best days might be behind him, but he could still be an All-NBA caliber-center for a few years and productive longer than that.