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Dwight Howard sings, dances his way through Philippines (VIDEO)

Oct 8, 2013, 2:57 PM EDT

Dwight Howard wants… no, needs to have fun. It’s part of the reason he didn’t mesh with the serious and driven Kobe Bryant (and to a lesser degree Steve Nash) in Los Angeles. It’s part of what drew him to Houston as Chandler Parsons sold him on a college-like experience.

So you had to know as Howard and the Rockets make their way through the Philippines on their tour of Asia there would be some crazy videos. What you have above, courtesy, is Howard signing and doing the “Cha Cha Slide” — a favorite at middle schools everywhere — with Rocket rookies Isaiah Canaan and Robert Covington.

Some in the comments will point to this as some Howard character flaw, but it’s not. Plenty of great NBA players were about having fun off the court, including Howard’s big critic Shaq. What Shaq gets credit for (in part because there’s truth in it and in part because winners get to write history) is his ability to turn off that fun side and be serious enough to overcome adversity and get what he wanted on the court.

That’s what Howard has to prove he can do in Houston. But first, there will be some singing and dancing.

  1. antistratfordian - Oct 8, 2013 at 3:13 PM

    Dwight was serious enough during the Magic-Cavs series. I don’t recall him joking and dancing during that series. He was all business.

    Magic Johnson was about having fun ON the court, not just off of it. He famously had a coach fired specifically because his offense wasn’t allowing Magic to have enough fun.

    • kb2408 - Oct 8, 2013 at 6:53 PM

      Yeah, but what you don’t mention is Magic did that AFTER leading the LAKERS to a title as a 20 yr old rookie. Playing for a franchise that’s content with winning a championship every few decades, Dwight can dance, clown and have all the fun he wants. But , in LAKERLAND that doesn’t fly.

      • antistratfordian - Oct 9, 2013 at 6:54 PM

        Kareem led the Lakers to the title that year. He was the MVP of the season, remember. He also led the Lakers in PER and Win Share in both the regular season and the playoffs.

        Magic had an incredible Game 6 in the Finals, but there were 97 other games to be played that Kareem absolutely dominated.

        Kareem averaged 33 points a game in the first 5 games of the finals (33, 38, 33, 23, 40) – Magic averaged 17.

        Overall Magic averaged 21.5 points and 8.6 assists in the finals. Kareem averaged 33.4 points and 13.6 rebounds.

        Kareem actually had the Finals MVP award won by a 4-3 vote, but some of the selected writers have since come out and said that they were pressured by CBS to change their vote because the network did not want to present the award to “an empty chair” (Kareem was not at the game – his ankle so swollen that the team did not allow him to make the trip to Philly).

    • kb2408 - Oct 8, 2013 at 6:58 PM

      And please never, ever compare Dwight with Magic! Magic was a smiling assassin who was all about winning. Dwight is a big, goofy kid begging for attention and to be liked.

      • antistratfordian - Oct 9, 2013 at 6:35 PM

        Yadda yadda yadda… Magic was all about playing with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Jamal Wilkes, Norm Nixon and Michael Cooper as a rookie. Then somehow “magically” still getting the #1 pick after winning a championship and landing James Worthy.

        It’s a lot easier to win when you come into the league playing with those guys and not having to rely on Jameer Nelson and Hedo Turkoglu.

      • Anoesis - Oct 9, 2013 at 10:50 PM

        They got the pick that became Worthy in a ’79 trade with the Cavs. The Cavs had the worst record in the league in ’81-’82 resulting in the Lakers ending up with the 1st pick.

        Nothing “magical” about that, unless you think the Cavs tanked in order to help the Lakers out. I suppose in your Laker-hating bubble world that makes complete sense. Thanks for the laugh.

  2. waggonerkris - Oct 8, 2013 at 4:17 PM

    Looks like Dwight needs to practice his singing a little. Along with his free throw shooting, post moves, decision making when he has the ball, avoiding stupid fouls and not smiling when his team is losing.

    • Anoesis - Oct 9, 2013 at 10:51 PM

      Maybe he can get on one of those goofy talent shows after he’s done playing. Dancing, not singing.

  3. adamsjohn714 - Oct 8, 2013 at 4:22 PM

    Being miserable wins championships


    • Anoesis - Oct 9, 2013 at 10:53 PM

      Being driven wins championships. I don’t ever recall Magic Johnson being a surly jerk. Howard has the fun part down, but doesn’t seem to have the ability to focus long enough to be a champion. That isn’t to say he can’t change, but he’s already rejected a couple of chances to learn from people who know what it takes.

      • adamsjohn714 - Oct 9, 2013 at 11:55 PM

        Nobody “knows what it takes” or has “championship DNA” or any of that crap. Did Kobe mutate after the first 3 rings and suddenly forget “what it takes” and then mutate back when the team traded for Gasol? You need a lot of good players that are healthy. Dwight has been really really good his entire career, except last year where he was just pretty good (I blame that on injury mostly). If he was on better teams (or this past Lakers team where everyone was perfectly healthy) then he would have had MORE playoff success. But to act like him smiling and laughing is the reason he hasn’t won a ring is ridiculous.

  4. sfsugator - Oct 8, 2013 at 9:17 PM

    He’s gonna win 0 rings

  5. xLith - Oct 9, 2013 at 10:29 AM

    To all the D12 haters out there. What are you going to do if he does well? What if the Rockets win a championship at some point with him? Big what ifs, I know.

    What did all the haters do after LeBron won his first championship? They talked smack that it was a shortened season and that he couldn’t repeat? He repeated. Now what? Oh I guess they moved to hating on D12.

    • Anoesis - Oct 9, 2013 at 10:56 PM

      There’s a world of difference between hate and disappointment.

      The opposite of love isn’t hate, it’s indifference. As a Laker fan I’m disappointed Howard couldn’t suppress his desire to have “fun” at any cost, including giving people the impression he wasn’t serious about his job.

      Now that Howard has moved on I don’t have the time or inclination to continue caring what happens to him. That’s indifference, not hate.

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