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Dwight Howard does Haka with New Zealand rugby team

Jun 14, 2011, 10:01 AM EDT

Orlando Magic v Phoenix Suns Getty Images

One of my favorite rituals to watch in all of sports is to see the New Zealand All Blacks — the national rugby team — perform the native Maori war dance the Haka before each game. One of the few sports rituals I would consider genuinely intimidating. (Confession, I enjoy watching rugby and we’ve got a good team in my neck of the woods playing it.)

Dwight Howard is working his way through Europe on an adidas promotional tour.  The All Blacks are in Europe now as well. So, of course, Dwight joined them in doing the dance (he’s not in front but he’s pretty easy to spot quickly).

I would love to see David Stern’s face if Howard and the Magic make this their new pregame ritual instead of traditional pregame introductions. And how many technicals would Steve Javie give him for this?

(Via the amazing Eric Freeman at Ball Don’t Lie)

  1. marcus158 - Jun 14, 2011 at 10:36 AM

    I’ve always loved watching the Haka being performaed.

    Although I do think that it looks stupid if you do it for the hell of it and not because your team has deep Maori/Polynesian roots (like New Zealand).

    • rjlink1 - Jun 14, 2011 at 12:16 PM

      Note: This is not the All Blacks in the video with Dwight Howard. It’s the national under-20 team.

    • cosanostra71 - Jun 14, 2011 at 2:35 PM

      while I partially agree, it is a tradition for the team

  2. mckludge - Jun 14, 2011 at 2:42 PM

    Funny, they don’t look All Black.

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