Dwight Howard teases NBA return on his 38th birthday, wants to play In-Season Tournament game before retirement

Dwight Howard is still attempting a return to the NBA after spending a year overseas (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)
Dwight Howard is still attempting a return to the NBA after spending a year overseas (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)

The last time that Dwight Howard played in the NBA was in the spring of 2022 when he was a member of the LA Lakers. After the franchise's decision to not offer him a new deal, the 38-year-old big man moved to Taiwan and he is now a free agent.

Even though he attempted a return to the league last summer and had a workout for the Golden State Warriors, he was never offered a contract. However, Howard remains optimistic that his time in the league is not up yet.

Celebrating his 38th birthday on Friday, December 8, the veteran big man and 2020 NBA champion took to social media and teased a return to the league:

"I turned 38 today and I thought about it lol…I’m not retiring before I have the chance to say I played in a In season tournament game lol," Dwight Howard wrote on X.

His former team, the LA Lakers, and the Indiana Pacers will collide in the Championship Game of the NBA In-Season Tournament on Saturday in Las Vegas.

Dwight Howard considers playing in Australia amid NBA return attempt

Dwight Howard is seeking a return to the NBA, but at the same time, he is evaluating his options to continue playing overseas.

Over the summer, he reportedly explored the possibility of moving to Europe and the EuroLeague, while the CEO of the National Basketball League (NBL) in Australia revealed the talks with Dwight Howard.

David Stevenson said, per Dominic Criniti of SEN, via Clutchpoints:

"We’ve been having lots of conversations with Dwight over an extended period of time. He’s seen value in the strength of the league and he still has aspirations to get back into the NBA, he’s playing overseas at the moment. It’s been surprising coming into this role, how many ex-NBA players are wanting to come and play in the NBL.
"At different stages of their career, some of them had a short time in the NBA, some of them had a relatively long period. I think it just authenticates our view that the NBL is (a) really strong league and a great pathway into the NBA."

Dwight Howard arrived in the NBA in 2004 as the No.1 pick of the draft and spent the first eight years of his career with the Orlando Magic, reaching the NBA Finals in 2009.

Since leaving the franchise in 2012, he played for another six teams, including three stints with the Lakers. He claimed the championship as a member of the Los Angeles roster in the Orlando Bubble in 2020, while he has shared his desire to return to the Magic and retire in Orlando.

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Edited by John Maxwell