Dwight Howard spent one year with the Atlanta Hawks. After signing a three-year deal with this hometown team in the summer of 2016, Howard played a grand total of 80 games — 74 in the regular season, six in the post — before a new Hawks regime shuttled him off to Charlotte. The Hawks traded Howard and a second-round pick (used on Duke guard Frank Jackson, who was later re-routed to New Orleans) for a whole lot of not much — center Miles Plumlee, guard Marco Belinelli and a second-round draft pick later used on guard Tyler Dorsey — in order to shed the two years and $47 million owed to Howard, a contract for which a rebuilding Atlanta team had no use.
So, in review: 13.5 points and 12.7 rebounds per game, a first-round exit, and an unceremonious dismissal that did no favors to the reputation of a former All-Star lock and future Hall of Famer. It wasn’t exactly a magical return trip for Dwight, who played fine enough during his one year in Georgia, but who didn’t really stitch himself into the fabric of the Hawks franchise. So it was a little weird that, when Howard visited Philips Arena with the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday night, the Hawks made a point of celebrating his return with a video tribute for … um … reasons?
The tribute — the latest in a series of video presentations that has of late begun to veer past the border of reasonable and clear into the realm of the absurd — reportedly moved all in attendance to tears:
— Nubyjas Wilborn (@nwilborn19) February 1, 2018
Hawks just ran the Dwight tribute.
It was unannounced, very short and Howard didn't look up and notice.
Howard, for his part, chose to show his appreciation to the Hawks by giving former teammate Mike Muscala a very special gift:
We’re guessing Moose would’ve appreciated a simple wave and a nod or something. You just hate to see something so violent mar such a clearly emotional occasion for all ivvolved.
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