People often forget Dwight Howard in his prime. No, he wasn’t always a role player in the NBA who turned into an overseas star, but there was a time when he had no rival at his position and he knew it. 

His NBA playing days are likely over as he transitioned to Taiwan’s T1 League in 2022, but he likes to remind people of his former dominance. While being interviewed by former NBA player and teammate Chandler Parsons for FanDuel, Howard was asked to pick between himself in his prime or Nuggets center Nikola Jokić, who’s currently in the prime of his young career.  

“Prime Dwight Howard all day. All day, every day,” Howard said. “I’m dominating every play with a smile on my face.” 

Many people’s first thought might be to scoff, but at his best, playing against Howard was no cakewalk. During his prime Magic years, Howard led the franchise to the Finals and was named Defensive Player of the Year three years in a row. While in an Orlando uniform, he was named an All-Star five times and was selected to the All-NBA First-Team five times in a row. He led the league in rebounds on five different occasions and blocks twice. 

That being said, Jokić is another all-time great. He’s a two-time MVP—an award that Howard never won—and has a chance to lead the Nuggets to an NBA title this year. Fans will never see the matchup, but it would have been a sight to see.