Lakers big man Dwight Howard has made a lot of enemies over the course of his NBA career. And while he has worked things out with most of his ex-rivals, he has yet to beat the hatchet with 'The Big Diesel,' who has criticized Dwight openly in the past.
In an interview with Taylor Rooks, Howard talked about his relationship with Shaq, and how the infamous 'Superman' nickname he is accused of stealing from the guy actually has nothing to do with him at all.
"It's like every time something goes on it seems like he has an issue with me, or he's talking bad about me. For me, it's like 'I don't care about no Superman name. It's just a name and there are so many people around the world who carry that name and it should be bigger than just what you do on the basketball court. How you live your life, how you treat people, how you carry yourself. Your character. To me, that's Superman, and that 'S' it stands for hope...it was nothing to do with Shaq. Nothing to be like him or anything like that.
O'Neal has long resented Dwight carrying the nickname, which first began during the 2008 dunk contest.
Their connection since then has not been great (as Howard confirmed they don't talk), but there's no reason why they can't develop some sort of relationship, and Dwight wants to settle it once and for all.
"But if a guy wants to be like me, I'm welcome to it. Like hey man, let me help you out. Let me show you what I did to get to where I'm at and hopefully you can take it to the next level. So I would love to sit down and have a conversation with him.
I always tell people, Shaq is the most dominant player to ever play. So I always give him his props. I would never disrespect him. But, for me, I love to have fun and joke -- just like he does. So that's why I wanna have a conversation like 'hey bro, we supposed to be like this.'"
Dwight, 35, is back in Los Angeles after a brief stint with the 76ers. While the guy is not nearly the same player he was back in Orlando, he's playing in a way that even Shaq should be proud of.
And when Howard looks up and sees that no. 34 up in the rafters, he knows just how special it is to be repping the Purple and Gold.