Now with the Houston Rockets, former LA Lakers center Dwight Howard says he’s not a dumb player in response to criticism from legendary NBA center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
“Dwight is an extraordinary athlete and has incredible athletic ability, but basketball is a game where the most important muscle that you use on the court is the one between your ears,” Abdul-Jabbar said on ESPN’s “First Take” Thursday. “Dwight’s basketball IQ is not up to speed for him to be a dominant player.”
Howard, who signed with the Rockets during the offseason after a disappointing year with the Lakers, has this message for Abdul-Jabbar:
“You can’t win three Defensive Player of the Year trophies and be stupid. That can’t be done,” he said, according to the Houston Chronicle. “And I don’t think any coach that has ever coached me has said I have a low IQ for basketball.
“Have I done some dumb stuff on the floor? Yes, every player has. Have I done some stupid things in life? Yes, it’s life. We make mistakes and learn from them. It is what it is. I think I am very intelligent when it comes to the game of basketball. I have been playing since I was 3 years old. Each year, I get a little smarter.
“People will have something to say. Is what it is. I’m in (Houston) now. This city has my back and we are going to ride together.”
Howard is a seven-time All-Star who has averaged 18.3 points, 12.9 rebounds and 2.2 blocks in his nine-year career, all but one of the years with Orlando. He’s made one appearance in the Finals, losing to the Lakers in 2008-09.