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Months After Getting Ridiculed By Shaquille O’Neal For Being in Taiwan, Dwight Howard Dominating LeBron James to Win ECF Resurfaces

Utathya Ghosh

Months After Getting Ridiculed By Shaquille O’Neal For Being in Taiwan, Dwight Howard Dominating LeBron James to Win ECF Resurfaces

Dwight Howard, one of the most dominant players in NBA history, has often faced disrespect and ridicule throughout his career. Despite his undeniable talent and numerous accolades, criticism, especially from Shaquille O’Neal, has been a recurring theme. Just a few months ago, Shaq took a swipe at Howard for his stint in Taiwan, raising eyebrows among basketball enthusiasts. However, as a testament to Howard’s prowess, a throwback video showcasing his triumphant moment has recently resurfaced – a moment when he overpowered LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers to secure the 2009 Eastern Conference Finals (ECF) victory.

Shaq’s propensity to dismiss other big men in the league has been a consistent topic of discussion. Unfortunately, Dwight Howard has often found himself on the receiving end of Shaq’s flak, despite his undeniable talent and impact on the game.

Dwight Howard’s Domination of LeBron James

Shaq, never one to hold back his opinions, publicly ridiculed Dwight Howard on several occasions. His disapproval of Howard’s decision to play in Taiwan was one such instance. While Shaq’s remarks might have stung, the truth remains that Howard has proven to be a formidable player, consistently going up against some of the NBA’s best.

This was particularly evident in the resurfaced video of the 2009 ECF, where Howard showcased his basketball brilliance.

In that crucial game, he displayed his scoring prowess, amassing an impressive 40 points and grabbing 14 rebounds, leading the Orlando Magic to a stunning victory against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Shaquille O’Neal’s Disdain for Howard’s ‘Superman’ Moniker

Beyond the ridicule for playing in Taiwan, Shaquille O’Neal also took issue with Dwight Howard adopting the ‘Superman’ moniker for the 2008 NBA Dunk Contest. In his book, “Shaq Uncut,” the legendary center expressed his clear disdain for Howard’s lack of originality. Shaq felt that the ‘Superman’ title belonged to him and that Howard’s use of it was a case of unoriginality.

The tension between the two players reached its peak during the 2009 NBA All-Star Game when a now-viral video surfaced, showing Shaq executing a jaw-dropping move by dribbling the ball effortlessly through Howard’s legs before soaring for a powerful slam dunk. This move took place when Howard was already a three-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year, adding an intriguing layer to the rivalry.

Speaking about his issues with Howard, Shaq candidly said: 

“Dwight Howard and I don’t really have a relationship. I don’t like people who lack originality. The whole Superman thing doesn’t work for me. The first time I heard Howard being called Superman, I was watching the dunk contest with my kids. He lays down a marvelous dunk and Reggie Miller and Kenny Smith start saying, ‘Superman is in the building.’ So I’m thinking, Hmm, I believe that name is already taken. But I’m not getting into it. Hey, my little kids are running around with a little cape on, and I’m not going to burst their bubble.”

Dwight Howard’s journey in the NBA has been marked by immense talent, yet also marred by unfair criticism, particularly from Shaquille O’Neal. Despite facing such adversity, Howard’s incredible performances, like the one in the 2009 ECF, have repeatedly silenced his detractors. The resurgence of this video serves as a powerful reminder of Howard’s prowess on the basketball court and his ability to dominate against some of the greatest players in the game. It also highlights the importance of recognizing and appreciating the contributions of players like Dwight Howard, who have undoubtedly left an indelible mark on the sport.

About the author

Utathya Ghosh

Utathya Ghosh


I'm Utathya, the resident basketball wordsmith and editor extraordinaire at The SportsRush's NBA section. When it comes to writing about the NBA, I've got the authority of a referee with a whistle and the flair of a player with a killer crossover. My love affair with the NBA has been going strong for a solid 8+ years, and trust me, it's been a wild ride. From buzzer-beating shots to mind-boggling dunks, I've witnessed it all. And through it all, one player has captured my heart and handles like no other: Kyrie Irving. That man's got moves that make me question the laws of physics. But enough about my favorite player. Let's talk about my natural talent for writing. They say the pen is mightier than the sword, but when it comes to basketball, my words are like three-point bombs that leave you in awe. I've got a knack for capturing the intensity of the game, the drama of the locker room, and the passion of the fans, all while keeping it entertaining and relatable. So, whether you're a die-hard fan or just getting your feet wet in the world of basketball, join me on this court of words as we dive into the thrilling world of the NBA. From epic comebacks to mind-blowing trades, I've got the inside scoop and the witty commentary to keep you hooked. Get ready for a slam dunk of articles that'll have you shouting "swish" with every read!

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