Dwight Howard Imagined Having To Retire

Lakers center Dwight Howard said he briefly imagined his career being over eight months ago when doctors said a herniated disc caused nerve damage in his left leg that could have forced him to retire.

“I did for a couple days,” Howard said Saturday night after the Lakers beat the Warriors at Oracle Arena.

What became a final season in Orlando, a contentious split marred by his wavering on a future with the Magic, ended with April 20 surgery, sidelining the three-time Defensive Player of the Year for the playoffs and the Olympics with Team USA. But Howard said the full extent of the injury was not known publicly, and that while he is still not 100 percent while playing for the Lakers, he is far ahead of the original timetable.

“When I got hurt, I lost my whole left leg, basically, from my nerves,” he said. “That takes at least nine months to get that strength back. I was able to get some of it back in a couple of months. But it’s always a process. I wish that it would all come back right away, but this is a great time for me to work on other parts of my game that’ll make myself better and also make the team better.

“It’s really, at this point, not even my back. The injury I had caused my whole left leg to just lose all strength. My nerves were severely damaged. It takes a while for those nerves to grow back and for you to have enough strength to play. All that stuff is coming back slowly. There’s still days, like I said, where I feel really good, and there’s day when I’m not so good. But it’s all a process. I’m pretty sure at the end of the year I’ll feel a lot better than I do now.

“If I would have waited until after the season (to have the operation), if I would have tried to continue to play, then I probably wouldn’t be able to play anymore. I had to do it right away. I didn’t want to risk my career for some playoff games. They were important for me, but my health is important.”

Traded to the Lakers as part of a four-team blockbuster on August 10, Howard is averaging 17.8 points, 11.9 rebounds, 2.59 blocks and 36.4 minutes, second-most on the team behind Kobe Bryant. He has played all 27 games.


  1. Seriously? says:

    Hating on Dwight for Christmas!?

  2. jnett says:

    Can Dwight Howard just shut up already

  3. a mad chinaman says:

    it is fascinating that people are taking time to complain about someone they don’t think is a superstar or a worthy basketball player.

    Their comments probably their way of agreeing with the rest of the league that Superman is a superstar.

    The Lakers have 2 dynamic duos – Black Mamba and Pau. They are developing their second dynamic duo – Superman and Nash. Nash will help Superman on offense, Superman will help Nash on defense

  4. dj rgm9 says:

    To much haters around these days,haters have no life!Haters feed off only by hate that’s = theyre life,nobody knows the whole story with players having injury or fakin it.Again this just hate mongering from the columnwriter’s blog’s.
    I know one thing that i’m cheering only for 1team and stays with it.I never hate any nba team or players in a team,
    That’s for LOSERS!.Never underestimate injury’s and never wish a player too have it too.
    I think that what Dwight want to say that he’s happy to having new chances to play after strugglin with his injury,that’s all.
    I could be going completly wrong way, he was realising that before.That is what he refering to,lucky have the chance to play further in the big league.Hater’s just stay HUMAN for your own sake!!!
    You wish nobody ending a career because off severe injury,nobody!!!

  5. DO-1 says:

    Soooooooo what u play n win them all.!!! Go lakersssssssssssss!! I STILL BELIEVE!????!

  6. NerveURFace says:


  7. Ray Venditti says:

    D12 isexposed for what he truely is: a very good role player. When or if he has lost his hops then he is average.

  8. San Diego NBA says:

    C’mon guys, give him a break. If he says hes not 100% then hes not. But he better be come playoff time!

    Please bring an NBA team to San Diego. Thx!!!!

  9. f1 says:


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  11. NBAChicago says:

    Dwight howard again can not handle the attention not being on him so here we go with this. But I have to agree that dwight Howard is not the same than he was before. You can easily tell because dwight used to play above the rim with many ally ops and put backs, but you can clearly see that he does not have that spring in his jump that he used to have. Remember in few dunk contest back dwight pulled out a 12 foot rim, and 2 handed dunked on it. I really doubt he can do such thing now. But anyways i believe many LA fans and players like to point fingers and play the blame game. (its kobe fault) (its dwights free throw shooting) (its because we do not have nash yet) its this.. its that… but really ir just because LA is not playing hard enough mostly on the defensive end. I believe mike Dan toni was a terrible fit for LA LAkers was was hired only because of spite of phil jackson wanting to think it over for a night, but LA mangement thought because of this they were being shown up so hired MIke D T instead. Watching the LA lakers you can see that lack of chemistry and also there defense is awful. Mike dan T dosnt care though, thats why you will not see the lakers go anywhere any time soon.

  12. Tiffany_GM says:

    Reply TPD NYC. no one questions (or cares) the severity of the injury. not everyone can get paid that much to retire before age 30 & still have someone like you to cheer him up. this is a business of basketball.

  13. Williamson says:

    @ William. I really hope so. the WNBA need a strong center like that. Dwringtie will have lots of fans.

  14. Toni says:

    Howard just play and stop joking araund….when shaq was playing…he playd hard….you are not.

    • Josh says:

      Yeah until Shaq started slowing down then he became a lazy clown. Calm down and let him heal his injury. If he’s not healed by next year then come back and say that. Otherwise, create a better argument on why he should push himself on his injury.

  15. mike.pl says:

    what a crying baby… c’mon give me a break!

  16. Hey I’m die hard Celts fan tried & true but i’m not even haten on him like that or disbelieving his back nerve issue. AH-DERR!! Nobody remembers that back issue started last season, AH-DERR, limited minutes & missing games near end season & playoffs (who was it that started for him? Anderson or something). Even i don’t jive w/ his whatever stuff but give the guy a break on injury part!!! COMON ON MAN!!! 🙂
    Hey is or not that really you guys Pierce & Garnett articals?? 🙂

  17. Hmm says:

    I’m sorry but to me this looks like Dwight trying to pile on more drama and excuses. I’m not saying this because I dislike the guy, it’s a serious injury I know and completely understandable that he had to sit out of playoff games… but then he went to LA as rehabilitation, was spotted going to baseball games or whatever and completely blew off his own kids camp back in orlando.
    Add this on top of the dwama, his Loyalty spiel, completely tearing the magic to pieces (though most fault lies with their former GM), and it just makes me think this guy can’t be trusted. Great talent or not.

    • Cant tell if.... says:

      So let me get this straight, you think he’s making this up but agree that his injury is serious? You lost me.

  18. naer says:

    so this is another excuse for the playoffs in Orlando hehehehe

  19. Trueteller says:

    He is lying. Nerves never regenerate!!!

  20. SensibleScot says:

    Accept Dwight may have (had) a serious injury and that it might be difficult to recover, but then I’m pretty sure 75% of NBA players have had a serious injury to get over at some point, simply due to their size more than anything else.

    The problem people have with this is it’s a big shout out for attention… a couple of days before Christmas… when the NBA is getting nearly the most coverage in the season.

    Didn’t hear much detail about this till now. Could easily have came out earlier.

    Dwight has a reputation for it now, and this won’t make it any better. That’s why he’s not getting much sympathy.

  21. Joseph says:

    Welcome to Hollywood!!!!!!!!!!! Anything is possible. All is ACTS, FAKE

  22. Dwight Howard says:

    Stop being so mean guys, my momma said i was still her best little center.

  23. STOP HATING!!!! says:

    All this garbage, about not having chemistry! Whining about a back injury, WITH nerve damage….that statement alone, tells anyone whomever has as much as kicked a soccer ball in elementary school that comiing back in under a year is darn near MIRACULOUS!!! Dwight Howard’s career avg in points (18.4)…This year 17.9. Career avg in Rebounds (13.1)….this year 11.9. He’s over 2 blocks a game and has worked his way into the top 5 (in blocks). AND THEY JUST BEAT THE 5TH SEEDED TEAM ON THE ROAD.

    Bottom line, we’re in the mix!!! So quit HATING!!! PERIOD!!!

  24. TPD NYC says:

    You guys seriously need to lay off. Basketball players are not Gods. They do get injured and his injury sounds severe. How you compare an injured Howard to Shaq (even though he is nowhere near Shaq level). You guys are so caught in his drama from last season that you failed to show humanity to this guy. If you don’t understand the injury just shut up and blog about someone else

  25. Game Time says:

    What a load of bull! I guess hanging with Kobe he’s learning how to exaggerate his injuries to make his performance look more miraculous.

  26. William says:

    Sounds like Lakers fans want someone to blame. I hope Howard leaves in free agency and comes to Houston or some other town that appreciate his abilities.

  27. NerveURFace says:

    Lakers wont win any CHAMPIONSHIP hahaha thats the reality u need to face Laker FANS…..HEAT ALL THE WAY !!!!

  28. Mayan Calendar Fail says:


    If Dwight is really on pain right now… He Shouldn’t play…. End of story…. He’ going out there… THAT means He Can play…. If d12 really concern about his team he will rest his injury…. remember DROSE??? just coming back from his injury,
    then getting hurt again game 1 of the playoffs…. SO you still believe D12??? Ok so why did SVG get fired? As of now Derek Fisher is BIGGER than dwight!!! He knows that his window is closing…. At this stage of his career he knew that having injury now won’t heal as fast as before… The BEST thing that he did was to RETIRE…….No Drama Required….

  29. Mayan Calendar Fail says:

    OOhhhh so that’s why they are losing games………. NOPE…… I don’t buy that kind of excuses…. Did the HEAT made that kind of excuse when they lose to DALLAS in 2010??? Nope they blame their selves (especially LBJ) … So does the Thunders (westbrook,ibaka,durant) … No Excuses, They Blame themselves for LOSING the finals to MIAMI…. Now the lakers having a terrible record for a super team(on paper)… Now declaring he was hurt???? How about the warriors playing w/out their Center BOGUT….18-10 or the sixers w/out Bynum almost the same record with lakers 13-15… What if Bynum is playing…. If D12 is really on pain right now… He shouldn’t play… Just like what DWADE said before on Paul Pierce during the EAST finals… Peirce is hurt…. Dwade replied I Don’t Buy that…. He’s playing and we are concerned that Pierce might beat us… D12 is a true clown… He make us all laugh by his big drama… Hey Dwight!!! We don’t buy that… Your ACTING stinks…..

  30. MarK says:

    No one asks him to play thru injury here. For our sake, we better see him Not playing regardless of his health. That’s it. I have the same injury but I just don’t get the same medical attention (perhaps because I am 5′ 11” ?).

  31. Marc says:

    All of you ripping into him cause he’s ‘making excuses’ are ridiculously callous! My roommate had the same injury. The guy could barely walk and stayed in bed all day. For people who say he should play through it….your lack of common sense about how bodies work is damn near criminal. You can play through a hand injury, sure, unless you use your hands to support other movements…which, you do not in basketball. But any injury to your core, legs or feet is basically gonna create new injuries due to having to unnaturally compensate. If you still don’t understand this simple logic… go to the gym, see how much you can dead-lift…then try it on one foot… come back and call Dwight a p…ssy when you’re hobbling like he is.

    Believe me….I’m no Dwight groupie…He has a piss-poor attitude, but that doesn’t give anyone the right to not make any sense at all in order to keep criticizing him. Preventing injuries is what they should to a certain degree be held responsible for…but once injured, playing through it just doesn’t work. It’s as if some of you believe a herniated disc is just another strain of the flu… Give up the illogical hate. It’s fugly.

  32. Garnett says:

    no one here is saying or implying he is faking. but sadly, it is to the point that no one even cares if he is (faking). the NBA is not a platform for complaining injury here or there. many ppl in this world suffer from more serious illness do not get paid for millions of dollars for acting like a joke publicly.

  33. KB24 says:

    by the time the playoffs get here Howard will be playing at 100% and thats when Lakers will be at their best!

  34. Lisa_Stagey says:

    seriously there is no center position in the nba anymore. well.. it seems that only DW enjoys involving in such so-called “best center” talk… I personally would not be so proud of that.. especially when there are only 4 centers in the league, with one being not able to play (bynum). enjoy being the “best” center in the nba.. best… haha

  35. b-ball says:

    holy cow..another drama……just play the game of basketball…..he can never be compare to shaq……shaq is a dominant player in his time…howard is not even on top 5 player in nba ,lebron,anthony,kobe,durant,love

  36. BLaCKBeaRD is typing... says:

    @ Armin – The NBA already is one sad league at the center position.

  37. Putapete says:

    just stick with Ghost Hunting Dwight!

  38. Pierce says:

    Most of the people claiming DH is not worth the price tag obviously don’t realize the man you traded to get him hasnt played a game this season. DH has proved time and time again to be a great defensive center and got a team to the 2009 finals its obvious he isnt right yet he has no reason to lie about the nerve damage. For the people thinking he is faking I dont quite understand he had the surgery he didnt fake the surgery it happened so I’m not sure where the lie is. The recovery time is 9 months so you have to be pacient but people are quick to critsize a hurt man playing on a new team that has been missing its point gaurd all season lakers fans really need to calm down and let their team get healthy before judging.

  39. dwight belongs on a team as the franchise player will never meet expectations with that many other stars around

  40. truth says:

    what he is saying is 100% true. I have the same medical condition as dwight. did my surgery last month. It s my 14th year playing basketball and i am 6’5. Imagine playing for about 20 years now and ur 6’11. It is a blessing he can still walk. and only who have the same condition will know about the severity of the pain, the constant numbness, the burning sensation, pins and needles sensation as well as leg muscles weakness and constant back spasms.it is not easy to live daily on pain killers which do not relieve 1% percent of the pain, and to struggle to walk knowing that u are going to be in pain with every step, or you may lose balance because of the weakness. Some injuries in sports are reversible and this injury is not. Howard will never be the Orlando magic’s howard. but he is doing HIS BEST. GIVE THIS GUY A BREAK. HE IS SPEAKING HIS MIND AS A HUMAN BEING FAR FROM THE FAME AND THE MONEY. serious injuries make you reflect on you future more as you try to compare your situation and your expectations and capabilities. Dwight knows he is one of the best centers in the world but feared he might have to hang his boots after his injury which is normal.

  41. LA Fans Ryan says:

    I have never seen anyone acts like D-howard. especially when he is just another 6-11 guy in the NBA or dont even know what he is doing. we LA fans get a life and DW please stop being a clown.

  42. Armin Halvadzic says:

    NBA without Dwight,would be one sad league at the center position.

  43. LA FAN says:

    I have never seen anyone talk of someone like. especially when he is not his doctor or even know what someone went thru. man get a life and stop being a hater.

  44. Jeff says:

    He should get the Oscars best actor category

  45. Dying NBA fan says:

    I’m sick of hearing insignificant details about the Lakers. There are many other teams in NBA who are having successful seasons, give them some shine. Everyday there’s insignificant headlines about the Lakers who are not even making the playoffs and are below 500. Sick of hearing about Howard; he doesn’t deserve this much attention, so stop giving it to him. Focus on players making a positive impact.

  46. tyrone says:

    Well, he does have a point, look at Yao Ming, he was force to retire because of constant injuries, Bill Walton had a sharp decline due to constant injuries, even Greg Oden might have to retire. Elton Brand didn’t have the same all-star numbers when he injured his achilles tendon in 07. Howard’s might decline easily like Grant Hill, but that’s not the case right now…

  47. shawn says:

    Harsh crowd maybe. But Howard really needs to start taking this seriously. So far he’s not been worth the price tag. LA are below .500 and apart from Kobe look distinctly average. The time for excuses should have been left back in Orlando.

  48. Jordan says:

    He imagined he was going to retire 8 mos ago…… why is this news now?

  49. Nasio Zolano says:

    A story telling a lie… Well fabricated yet adulterated… Giving an alibi which is apparently weak… No one is buying your self-proclaimed account…

  50. Kera says:

    A herniated disc and nerve damage. That’s a lot to deal with.

  51. brett5000 says:

    There certainly are a lot of gloomy Guses on this comment page 😦 One giant hug for all of you angry sad sacks 🙂 I hope Santa brings you all something very nice!

  52. erica says:

    Dwight is a superstar and superstars always find ways to bounce back and make it work. I hope that he keeps things in their rightful perspective and take care of himself first. He is a great player and it takes more than one person for a team to win a championship, they will not win relying on one person.

  53. Cyan says:

    Why does everyone hate dwight and not believe this? Obviously he’s not lying

  54. specialfriedrice says:

    DH will not win 3 Rings, 3 Finals MVPS and and MVP, by the end of his carer, nope, no-way… beat Shaq’s record…seriously the guy is now playing with Kobe, stat hog machine, if he stays in LA you wont even see him take out another DPOY nevermind a championship or one of the major awards…whats .500 look like Lakers fans, ohh thats right you have seen it yet this season…LOL

  55. jfack says:

    my bro had a similar prob and he was in pain all the time. def a prob that would make you consider retiring.

  56. Vira says:

    So instead of retiring he just quit playing hard, and decided he never need to learn to make free throws.

    Nominating Dwight Howard for NBA All Over-Rated Team.

    • cool knicks fan says:

      So you’re saying he should have just retired and ended his playing career? Almost everyone in his situation including you wouldn’t risk ending his career. U r an idiot along with everyone else who’s saying this is fake and all this kid of stuff.

  57. Awein says:

    What a crybaby..

    He complains and moans everytime, srsly get your act together clown..

  58. Ariel says:


  59. Lakers-R-Us says:

    Glad he’s playing and ecstatic that he’s a Laker! Can’t wait till he’s 100%.

  60. Heisenberg says:

    Whether Dwight Howard stays or leaves the Laker land, I wish him the best of health. As the old saying goes. Health is wealth. Life is more important than basketball.

  61. M. James says:

    Now, that’s crazy!!!!

  62. lakers says:

    I want to know why dwight howard is not having teamn chemistry with his teammeates

  63. KinneyL says:

    if you want to retire, please do. I dont think the NBA will miss anything.

  64. Funkyworm says:

    You guys are cold. Dwright’s a good player and he has been his entire career. I know of the injury he’s encountered, it’s a painful and long process. so, give the guy a break………..

  65. Orlando Magic Toaster says:

    This looks to me like he is trying to exaggerate and use his back as an excuse why he is nowhere near as good as Shaq was. Howard is overrated, he was in Orlando and he is even more so now as he is exposed.

  66. Howard says:

    I have the same injury as he has so I could tell you that it’s a long process. The surgery that he had is a 50/50 surgery. And you do lose your feeling in the legs and stuff like that. When you see him play compared to early last season, then you see it’s a big gap between what he can do compared to what he did before. He is still not a 100%
    Give the guy a break!!!!!

  67. JenJen says:

    Real cheery bunch in here, huh? Harsh…

  68. Big Euro says:

    I don’t believe him for a minute. He’s just adding more drama to his story.

    I’ve had the same injury so I can empathise with how frustrating it is. But I don’t even get paid to ball and I never thought about quitting. He was entering free agency and was set to make about 100m on his next contract, injured or not someone would have paid him. Just playing your game and leave your dwama behind.

    • Carl says:

      And what if he tried playing and wasn’t able to play anymore?

    • haha says:

      yea the guy needs to EARN his contract… all this talking doesn’t help… as much as I hate the Lakers… they have the roster to deal serious damage if everything goes to plan… right now nothing has clicked and I pray it stays that way

    • Go NETS!! says:

      Y’all know nothing about medical. Whether you believe him or not, all your nerves in your lower extremities go through the spine. So when you mess up your disc, maybe not to that extent, but surgery/operation always comes with risk vs. benefits. We all know what the benefits are, but risk could be a bad operation or simply bc the doctor messes up. Everytime you relocate your nerve, like when you’re having a surgery, you pretty much RESET those nerves back to where you were a child. The only thing that revive your strength quickly is due to your muscle memory, not your nerve. You have to train your nerves for a while to get it back to where it was before. I believe him 100% that he is not 100% and everything he says. I just want to him believe in himself and make sure he resign with the Lakers this summer. The Lakers will be crazy good by next year if not this year. So he will miss out big time on winning a title if I chooses to leave. He will not find another super team this good. He will have to start the whole process all over like he’s going through, but with another team….

  69. killuabest says:

    stop crying and help Kobe and your team to win…beat Shaq’s record if I were you..peace..

  70. Desmond Howardie says:

    Is this meant to be another joke or something? the tallest clown in the world!