The one thing you notice when speaking to Dwight Howard is that the smile comes across in his voice. Whether he’s saying something good about you, or his crusade to bring more positivity to the world, the grin is in his Georgia twang. There’s so many things the future Hall of Famer wants to be: maybe a zoologist, maybe a motivational speaker, but no matter what, he always wants to be a good teammate. He just, you know, sometimes has a funny way of showing it.
If you haven’t heard, Howard is back on the Lakers for the third time. His employment in California has often been eventful. Never mind his first disastrous stint with Kobe and Steve Nash — this season, he got in a shoving match with his teammate Anthony Davis on the bench. The Lakers kinda suck. And now LeBron James, the sun which the NBA revolves around, has been suspended while scuffling with a young player on the Detroit Pistons.
Somehow, through 19 games of tumultuous play and drama, Howard doesn’t seem to be fazed by it all. He just wants his respect: from the NBA who didn’t include him on their 75th Anniversary list, from ESPN and the press who won’t give him his flowers and, apparently, from the snakes he keeps in his home that have a tendency to bite him.
Howard sat down with GQ to discuss his unique career, how he wants to start buying giraffes for his home and his defense of his friend and ex-Sixers teammate Ben Simmons.
GQ: So, I heard you like roses?
Dwight Howard: Yeah, I have a rose garden. I have over 12 different types of roses that range from different colors of white, pink, red, yellow and they have different smells. Usually when people get they roses from the streets, they don’t have that smell to them. But the ones I got, they smell like perfume women wear and cologne I have. As a kid I would always hear people say, “stop and smell the roses.” So, I try to do that a lot, to basically say “slow down…”
I got the idea when I was visiting a friend of Oprah Winfrey’s. The guy’s wife had a big rose garden. They had over 25, 30, maybe 100 different types of roses. So I said, “Man, I gotta get this in my repertoire.”
What’s the perfect smelling rose? Since you and Oprah are experts.
I like the sweet smelling roses. It was crazy, Outkast had a song where they said “roses really smell like doo doo” and I just didn’t think that could really be true. These roses I have in my garden, they smell extremely good. It scents up the whole house. I’ve got 20 acres and I can smell the roses from the garden from the other side of the house. Sometimes, it feels like God is moving through the wind. If I’m at home, having a bad day or something like that, I get that sweet smelling scent. It gets me going. It’s someone telling me everything’s gonna be okay, so I don’t fret. I don’t fear.