WATCH: Ex-Sixers big man tries out for WWE as post-NBA plan originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia
Dwight Howard was a member of the Sixers for just 81 games, postseason included, but his brief time in Philly was full of truly memorable moments. From his rabid embrace of the Frosty Freeze-Out to his ardent defense of Ben Simmons, Howard was a singular figure – and he was pretty productive!
Now Howard is 36 and, after a fascinating 18-year career, the big man with the big personality is thinking about life post-basketball. There’s still a chance he signs with a team this year, potentially chasing a second championship ring – the guy said back in 2021 that he wanted to play “five more years”, after all – but if not…
…how does pro wrestling sound?
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That’s apparently on Howard’s mind, as the Atlanta native was spotted in Nashville this week during WWE tryouts. Unsurprisingly, it’s apparent that the dude’s absolutely built for the pro wrestling stage.
Please enjoy this 70-second clip from Arash Markazi, featuring a quick promo from Howard’s wrestling persona Sho Nuff, the Shogun Master:
Unbelievable. He has a persona, he has a voice, he has the wrestler’s prowl down, and he even brought props. Plus a mic drop!
Basketball or otherwise, Howard was just born to be a star.
Howard told Markazi he’s serious about joining WWE post-basketball, and I don’t doubt it. He’s always seemed like someone who will jump at the chance to try something new, and this is no exception.
Plus, with WWE likely going through a massive re-shaping over the next year or two in the aftermath of Vince McMahon’s departure, now is the perfect time for the wrestling promotion to take risks and try new things.
Howard would be a perfect risk to take.
If this is indeed a career for Howard, he finishes with what I believe to be a Hall of Fame career. The final averages don’t jump off the page – 15.7 points, 11.8 rebounds, 1.8 blocks – but it’s the height of his powers that should be remembered when assessing his résumé. The guy was a five-time All-Defensive Team member, a three-time Defensive Player of the Year (!!), an eight-time All-Star, and the best player by far on a team that beat LeBron James to reach the NBA Finals.
In his prime Howard was a tour de force, an unstoppable player on both ends who impacted each game immensely. His career became a string of one-off appearances with teams and he turned into a bit of a punch line, but Howard was a fantastic player and should be remembered as such if and when he retires.
And whatever comes next, it’ll absolutely be entertaining.