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Dwight Howard slams ‘very disrespectful’ pay cut request from Taiwan team

Dwight Howard is unhappy.

The former NBA star is now embroiled in a heated contract negotiation battle with the Taoyuan Leopards of the T1 League in Taiwan.

Howard claims team management offered him a contract 65 percent less valuable than the one he took on to play last season.

“I felt like that was very disrespectful,” he said to Taiwanese outlet TVBS News. “I felt like I brought value to the team. I was very disappointed… I felt like I deserved more.”

In his first season with the Leopards, Howard, 37, was clearly impactful.

The accomplished big man averaged 23 points, 16 rebounds and five assists with the club.

His season in Taiwan included some impressive highlights, most notably when he posted 38 points, 25 rebounds, nine rebounds and nine assists in his season debut.

Despite his best efforts, the Leopards were still dreadful as a team, and Howard missed time due to injury.

Dwight Howard played in the NBA from 2004-2022, and has since been with the Taoyuan Leopards in Taiwan.
Getty Images

Howard played in two-thirds of team games, and the Leopards sat in the cellar, finishing a league-worst 6-24.

Howard’s missed time played a role in team management’s contract offer, the team’s CEO reportedly said.

Leopards CEO Chang Chien-Wei said the team was calculating salaries in a new way this season, taking into account games played and adding incentives based on team performance, a format he said would be “mutually beneficial,” according to the Taiwan News.

Dwight Howard's last played in the NBA during the 2021-22 season, where he suited up for the Los Angeles Lakers, whom he won an NBA Title with in 2020.
NBAE via Getty Images

Howard, an eight-time All-Star and three-time Defensive Player of the Year, isn’t ruling out an NBA return either.

He told the Sacramento Observer last week that he would like to slot in on the Kings’ roster.