The 24-year-old has been named to the All-NBA first team in each of the last three seasons.
Dan Patrick:How many sleepless nights have you had thinking about Miami's big three?
Dwight Howard: I sleep fine every night. I have great dreams and everything. I don't have any issues with sleep thinking about the three amigos.
DP:Have you ever had a basketball-related nightmare?
DH: I think I had one in my rookie year, when Kobe dunked on me. I think I had a nightmare that night of him doing the same dunk over and over again.
DP:You never woke up one night and said, "Oh God, I just got traded to the Clippers"?
DH: Actually, I had one of those dreams this season. It wasn't the Clippers, it was some team in Cincinnati. I'm like, How did the NBA get a team in Cincinnati? It was so scary. I woke up and I went to the gym and I was talking to everyone like, "Thank you for having me on the team." And they're like, "What are you talking about?"
DP:A couple weeks ago I asked if you were more concerned about the Heat or the Lakers, and you said the Lakers.
DH: I think people have forgotten about the Lakers. They just won back-to-back championships. I know everybody is stuck with the hype of having the three guys in Miami, which is going to be very interesting. I think the bigger challenge would be playing against the Lakers.
DP:Do you want Carmelo Anthony in the East?
DH: He would look good in a Magic jersey... . He's been playing in light blue. He might look better in dark blue. And he might like Disney World.
DP:Well, his wife's a reality star, so she needs New York or L.A. I don't know what you have to offer in Orlando, unless she wants to work in theater at Disney World.
DH: Sometimes you've got to sacrifice for a championship.
DP:Is Kevin Durant in the category with Kobe and LeBron?
DH: What category is that?
DP:Best player in the game.
DH: That's a tough one.
DP:O.K., would you rather have LeBron or Kevin Durant?
DH: Why are putting me on the spot?
DP:This is a full-court press. If you can't take the pressure, how can I expect a championship out of you?
DH: Oh, I can take the pressure. I'm going to go with Kevin.
DP:See, that wasn't that difficult.
DH: It wasn't. I like Kevin. I watched him in high school and had a chance to talk to him in NBA camp before he got drafted.
DP:Can J.J. Redick dunk?
DH: Yes. You know what's crazy? You know how they say white men can't jump? We [were talking about having] a dunk contest with just white players in the NBA, and my pick would be J.J. Redick. 'Cause he actually has hops, he's just got short arms.
DP:Joe Alexander is going to win that thing.
DH: I forgot about him.
DP:Top three white dunkers?
DH: Joe Alexander, Birdman [Chris Andersen]—if he can complete a dunk.
DH: That's a tough one.
DP:There's not even a top three?
DH: No. They're all shooters. That's not fair.
DP:We'll put Redick in there.
DH: [Pause.] Yeah. Put Redick in there. He's awesome.
• Peyton Who?
How unexpected was Peyton Hillis's outburst (144 yards rushing) on Sunday? I asked Baltimore linebacker Terrell Suggs (below) if he knew of the Browns' running back before the game, which the Ravens won 24--17. "Never heard of him before in my life," Suggs said. "I know who he is now, though." To make matters worse for Suggs, Hillis kept his mouth shut. Suggs told me he likes it when an opponent talks: "It gives me more motivation to take his head off."
• By George, No!
Former pitcher Jim Kaat, who worked on Yankees broadcasts for 13 years, believes that the current push to have the late Yankees owner George Steinbrenner inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame is misguided. Currently a broadcaster for the MLB Network, Kaat listed several baseball people who should be inducted first. "Please don't put him in there in front of Bert Blyleven, Jack Morris, Curt Flood or Marvin Miller," he told me.
• Line of the week
Kurt Warner explained how his family is reacting to his being on Dancing with the Stars, the cast of which includes a certain Jersey Shore star (left): "I've got seven kids, and of course the boys could care less. But my one older daughter is excited to meet The Situation."
THE FINE PRINT: Aroldis Chapman became the first major leaguer to hit 105 mph. If you don't count Miguel Tejada driving to BWI to join the Padres.
Now Hear This
Listen to the podcasts at danpatrick.com
1. Tim McCarver discusses Jose Bautista's homer barrage.
2. Danny McBride on the new season of Eastbound and Down.
MICHAEL J. LEBRECHT II/1DEUCE3 PHOTOGRAPHY (PATRICK)
DAVID BERGMAN (SUGGS)
GREG ZABILSKI/ABC/GETTY IMAGES (THE SITUATION)
GREG NELSON (HOWARD)