Howard will start in the NBA All-Star Game on Feb. 17 and will compete in the Slam Dunk Contest the night before.
Dan Patrick: Do you keep a running total of guys who have dunked on you?
Dwight Howard: I do. I'm at five right now.
DP: O.K., run down the list.
DH: Kobe Bryant. He got me the worst. Then it would be Chris Paul. Then Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom and Shareef Abdur-Rahim.
DP: Out of all those, which one bothered you the most?
DH: The Kobe one did. Because it was Kobe Bryant, and because I thought I'd never get dunked on in my whole NBA career.
DP: Yeah, but Kobe's posterized a lot of guys, Dwight. I would think that Chris Paul might bother you a little bit more.
DH: The thing with Kobe was, after he did that dunk, they had it on TV and they had somebody freeze-frame the picture ...
DH: ... and then I went to the mall, and they had the picture on T-shirts! And people were asking me for the autograph of me getting dunked on.
DP: O.K., here is my suggestion for the dunk contest. But you have to wear lipstick.
DH: (Laughs) Go ahead.
DP: So you put lipstick on. You go up and you kiss the backboard and you dunk.
DH: Hmmm. I hadn't thought about that one. What if I kissed the rim?
DP: You know, I would worry about your mouth.
DP: Would you wear lipstick?
DH: That's the tough thing. I don't know if I could make myself wear lipstick in front of the viewers at home.
DP: Yeah, but Dwight, how bad do you want to win the dunk contest?
DH: I really want to win it, because one, for me, I think it would be a big step. And two, for all the big men in the world. That's the only area in life that we're always overlooked, the dunk contest, because we're so tall.
THE FINE PRINT: The Boston Globe presold a book saluting the Patriots' 19--0 season. Apparently the cover's been changed and now says, "A Novel."
Go to DANPATRICK.COM for more from Dwight Howard and other recent interviews, and hear live audio of Dan's radio show, 9-noon ET, Mon.-Fri.
JOHN W. MCDONOUGH (HOWARD)