If Atlanta Hawks center Dwight Howard ever wanted to squash the career-long criticism that he may not be as committed to winning as he probably should be, this definitely wasn’t the way to go about it.
The night before a crucial Game 6 against the Washington Wizards in his team’s back-and-forth first-round series, Howard was pulled over for speeding in an Atlanta suburb at 2:06 a.m. and cited for driving without insurance on a suspended registration, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
So, technically, he was pulled over the morning of April 28 — roughly 17 hours before tipoff of Game 6. It’s not like the Hawks had played the night before, either, and he needed to burn off some steam. Atlanta lost Game 5 to Washington on the 26th, falling behind 3-2 in the series. The Hawks had the night off on the 27th, and then were slated to play the Wizards in an elimination game on the 28th.
NBA players are night owls, but 2 a.m. before the biggest game of the season doesn’t seem like the best time to go for a drive — certainly not at an alleged 95 miles per hour in a 65 mph zone. Howard was pulled over after an officer spotted his blue 2016 Audi Rs7 speeding westbound near Chamblee-Dunwoody Road on I-85, followed by a black SUV driven by his security guard, according to the AJC.
The road is about 10 miles from the $12.5 million Atlanta mansion Howard reportedly bought in 2016.
According to the AJC, Howard was let go with a warning for both speeding and driving on a suspended registration, but received a ticket for driving sans insurance, despite his insistence he had insurance. Police reportedly towed his car, so it was presumably convenient he was followed by a security guard.
Howard then tweeted “Let’s Go #ATLHawks” and “Always #TrueToAtlanta” five hours later on game day:
— Dwight Howard (@DwightHoward) April 28, 2017
Howard scored nine points on 3-of-4 shooting, with seven rebounds, five turnovers, three personal fouls, two steals, an assist and zero blocks, in a 115-99 loss to the Wizards later that night. He earned $23.2 million from the Hawks this season and will receive $320,000 raises for the next two years.
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