Dwight Howard doesn't appear to be lacking in self-confidence.
While he was a member of the Orlando Magic front office, former team CEO Bob Vander Weide helped guide the Magic to great success. He was with the team when Shaquille O’Neal was in town, and he was there as Dwight Howard & Co. went back to the NBA Finals.
His tenure came to an end in 2011 amid interpersonal connections that went awry — he was married to Cheri DeVos, whose father is Magic owner Rich DeVos — and Howard was gone shortly thereafter. The Magic, in turn, began a rebuild that continues into this season.
And in an interview with George Diaz of the Orlando Sentinel, Vander Weide shared a rather fascinating tidbit about Howard. The current Houston Rockets center viewed himself as an icon, according to Vander Weide, on par with some of the biggest names in history: Nelson Mandela, Muhammad Ali, and Michael Jordan:
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“When he told me he was an icon, guess what three names he used [to compare himself to]?” Vander Weide said. “Michael Jordan. Muhammad Ali. Nelson Mandela.”
Let's pause for a sec while we all do a faceplant.
“Are you kidding me?” Vander Weide said. “We've been to the Finals once and you're a great athlete, and you're an icon like these three? I knew it was over. I knew there was no chance of keeping him.”
It seems safe to say that one of those people is very much not like the others.