Dwight Howard’s NBA career is coming to a close, and it sounds like he knows what he wants to do after retirement.
The former All-NBA center is still a free agent as the 2022-23 season begins. Howard, who turns 37 on Dec. 8, was linked to the Celtics, especially after Robert Williams III was set to miss the start of the season, but Boston chose to sign Blake Griffin. Howard has dealt with a number of injuries throughout his career, and it’s likely why teams aren’t eager to sign the three-time Defensive Player of the Year.
It’s also why Howard has looked to other ventures outside of basketball. The eight-time All-Star was in Nashville for SummerSlam weekend in July where he participated in a WWE tryout. He gave more details about his experience in an appearance on “All The Smoke” where he revealed what chief content officer Paul Levesque, aka Triple H, and Stephanie McMahon said of his tryout.
“I would definitely enjoy being a real wrestler like that,” Howard told Stephen Jackson and Matt Barnes, as transcribed by Post Wrestling’s Andrew Thompson. “My whole life growing up as a kid, me and my brother wrestled. I played around acting like I was the Hulk (Hogan), you know what I’m saying? And then, my nickname is Randy Savage so that’ll tell right there how much I love wrestling. Randy Savage, that was my (expletive) so, why not? I really enjoy the crowd, I enjoy entertaining people, I enjoy the fans and stuff like that, and the atmosphere is crazy.
“I went to SummerSlam this summer, and I got a chance to do some promos for wrestling and Triple H and Stephanie McMahon was there. She had just became the new CEO of WWE, and I did my promo and they was like, ‘Man, that was the best promo of the whole tryout and do you really wanna wrestle?’ I was like, ‘I think it would be great.’ I feel like it’s so many other avenues I could do, and after doing this thing that I did with the military this summer, it’s like my mind is the most valuable thing and it’s the strongest and with that, I can do anything. It’s the sharpest tool that I have in the shed so, if wrestling can happen, man I’ma go get that belt.”
Howard would be a unique fit to the current landscape of WWE. Levesque has chosen to emphasize the in-ring aspect of the product, but WWE remain steadfast in pushing celebrities and associating the brand with famous figures — Logan Paul is set to face off against Undisputed Universal Champion Roman Reigns at Crown Jewel on Nov. 5.
Another interesting wrinkle is Howard’s history of injuries. While he is interested in the promo and character aspects of pro wrestling, bumps still need to be taken. But considering his 6-foot-10, 265-pound frame, perhaps he shouldn’t be taking too many bumps as compared to other celebrities like Paul, Pat McAfee and Bad Bunny. Heck, if Action Bronson can get away with taking very little bumps, why can’t Howard?
It sounds like it will come down to mutual interest either from the NBA or WWE in regards to where Howard’s future goes.