In NBA history only five players have ever scored at least 19 thousand points, 14 thousand rebounds and two thousand blocks. Four of them (Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett and Robert Parish) made the NBA's 75th-anniversary team. The fifth? That would be Dwight Howard.
When it comes to comparing resumes amongst the players who failed to make this very exclusive list, one man towers over the rest (and I don't mean physically).
Howard is 11th all-time in rebounding, and all ten players in front of him on the list made the 75th anniversary team. He is 31st all time in win shares and 29 of the 30 players ahead of him made the list. The only other one who missed out is fellow worthy snub, Pau Gasol.
But Howard's all-time statistics are not the only reason he is clearly a top 75 player of all time. Just look at his accolades.
Side note; personally, media/player voted accolades are not the best way to identify how good a player was, but it does give some perspective to at least how a player was perceived at the time. For example, if a player made all NBA 10+ times, that means that many people believed he was a top 15 player for at least 10 years which does say something.
Anyways, Howard has three defensive player of the year awards, eight all-nba teams including five first-team honors. Howard is the only player with at least eight all-nba selections not to make the list and is one of only three players with at least six not to make the list.
If the officially top 75 players ever were removed from history, there is no doubt in my mind that Dwight Howard would be the current G.O.A.T.
Howard was considered not only the best center in basketball but also the best defensive player in basketball. His defensive run from 2008 to 2011 was one of the greatest we have ever seen.
During that span, the Orlando Magic never dropped below 6th in defensive rating as Howard led the Magic to a conference finals and NBA finals as the clear-cut best player. Not many players in NBA history can say that, including many on this historic list.
Part of why Howard was such an elite defender was his generational athleticism. With his superior lateral quickness and unreal vertical leap, Howard was able to switch out to the perimeter effectively for a player his size while also being able to get up to block almost any attempt that gets near the rim.
This athleticism is also what predominantly carried his offensive game as well since Howard was never a great shooter, passer, or post scorer. He got most of his points as a lob threat and finisher off of offensive rebounds or pick and rolls.
Howard also has four top 5 MVP finishes including second place in 2011 when he (wrongfully) lost to Derrick Rose.
The main reason Howard got left off the list is probably because of how his career has faltered since leaving the Orlando Magic. He has jumped from team to team, not finding a consistent home and ultimately became a role player who came off of the bench.
However, in that timespan he did make two all star teams, two all NBA teams and won his first ever NBA championship. While it was not an ideal second half to his career, I don't believe that players' can lower their all time standing but only raise it.
So if a player through 10 seasons looks to be one of the ten greatest players ever, even if he plays terribly for the next ten seasons that shouldn't take away from his first 10. That is the situation Dwight Howard finds himself in.
Because when you just look at what he's done and how good of a player he was in his prime, it is clear as day that Dwight Howard is a top 75 player in NBA history.