Former NBA star Dwight Howard jokingly invited several athletes who lost in this year’s NBA playoffs to join him in Taiwan.
The 37-year-old ex-Los Angeles Lakers star, who most recently played for the Taoyuan Leopards, a Taiwanese T1 League team, shared the invitation in a video uploaded to social media on Monday.
Some of the players he names in the video include the New York Knicks’ Julius Randle, the Brooklyn Nets’ Ben Simmons, the Phoenix Suns’ Deandre Ayton, Chris Paul and Kevin Durant and Philadelphia 76ers star James Harden.
“They talking ’bout him coming back to Houston, but I think this might be a better look. James Harden, come on down too, boy,” he can be heard saying.
Jordan Poole and Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors, who recently lost to LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers, were also named by Howard.
Another NBA player who the athlete mentions is the Memphis Grizzlies’ Ja Morant, who was recently suspended after showing what appeared to be a gun in an Instagram video.
“Aye Ja you gone get it right! I’m still with you if anyone else ain’t you could come out here to Taiwan if anything,” the eight-time All-NBA Team honoree and three-time Defensive Player of the Year tweeted on Tuesday.
“We’ll need a Great coach for this Dreamteam,” Howard seemingly said about former Philadelphia 76ers coach Doc Rivers, who was recently fired following the playoffs, in a follow-up tweet.
The former NBA star’s contract is set to expire this month. Of his 20 games in the T1 League, Howard reportedly averaged 23.2 points, 16 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 1.2 blocks in every game. He also reportedly played an average of 34 minutes per game.
After the Leopards’ final losing game in the regular season on Saturday, Howard thanked everyone he worked with and shared that he has fallen in love with Taiwan, saying, “I want to thank everyone, including the fans, the teammates, the coaching staff and the logistics team. Even though we didn’t win the championship, we have grown into a big family and that made me fall in love with this great place.”
Howard’s future with the Leopards remains uncertain.
Although the Taiwanese team has asked Howard to stay for another season, Leopards Chief Executive Officer Johnny Chang said the former NBA star is interested in testing the market first.
Howard was recently spotted playing with children and other basketball fans in an outdoor court in Taiwan.
The video made its way to the NBA subreddit in a post titled “Dwight Howard enjoying his final days in Taiwan, playing pickup with kids at a park.”
The original poster implied in a comment on the post that Howard was enjoying his time there “Before coming back to the States.”