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WATCH: Dwight Howard says 'stupid' to believe reports he was negative influence on Hawks

CHARLOTTE--The Hawks are in town to face the Hornets and Dwight Howard, a native of Atlanta who played for the Hawks season. At Hornets shootaround today I asked Howard about the perception that he was a negative influence on the locker room during his time with the Hawks. His answer is in the video above. ( Here is an article about the award he references .)

Some background:

In June new Hawks general manager Travis Schlenk traded center Dwight Howard to the Hornets. At the time, The AJC's Chris Vivlamore, then the Hawks beat writer, wrote an analysis in which he opined that he believed the Hawks made the move because they didn't want Howard's "negative influence" around a young, rebuilding team.

Then last month, on his ESPN podcast, Zach Lowe said Howard's Hawks teammates were happy to see him go. Lowe's fellow ESPN writer, Kevin Arnovitz, said that Howard is a "downer" when he believes he's not involved enough in the offense.

Second-year Hawks guard Malcolm Delaney subsequently cast doubt on those comments:


Update: I caught up with Dennis Schroder at Hawks shootaround. Schroder was benched after arguing with Howard during a game against the Warriors last season, a sequence that led to an open three-pointer. I asked Schroder about Howard's time with the team and his relationship with his ex-teammate:

"Off the court he is a good guy," Schroder said. "He did a great job trying to bring everybody together, as always. On the court we are too different. That’s on the court. But off the court, I think (he's) amazing."

How are he and Howard different?

"Personalities," Schroder said. "I’m a little different than everybody, I think. I always just try to do everything I can to win the game. I’m too competitive, sometimes."

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About the Author

Michael Cunningham has covered the Hawks and other beats for the AJC since 2010.