Dwight Howard had a blast on Saturday night while playing against the Detroit Pistons at the Wells Fargo Center. Typically, players might be exhausted on the second night of a back-to-back for obvious reasons, but the Sixers center was as energetic as ever.
Perhaps, his recent milestone had something to do with that. With a little over eight minutes to go in the second quarter of Saturday night's game, Howard was already a rebounding machine on the night.
As the big man picked up his sixth rebound of the game early on, Howard moved up in the All-Time rebounding rankings as he surpassed the 1961 first-round pick and former four-time All-Star, Walt Bellamy, with his 14,242nd rebound.
“It’s just a blessing to be able to play this game for this long and been able to be a player that’s top 11 in rebounds,” Howard stated after the win over the Pistons. “I don’t think people understand how hard it is to get rebounds and to get up and moving into the list with some of these greats.”
Sitting just outside of the Top 10, Howard has a long way to go before he would make it to the next level, beating out former Cavaliers and Warriors big man Nate Thurmond. Howard's next 223 rebounds would get him there, but that likely won't happen until the 35-year-old takes the floor next season.
Regardless of whether he eventually cracks the Top 10 or not, Howard is just happy to continue moving up the board -- especially in today's era of basketball where rebounds are more difficult to grab consistently. Either way, Howard is thrilled with his placement on the list, but the Sixers center made it clear he wants to get as close to Wilt Chamberlain as possible.
“Wilt Chamberlain is at the top,” Howard said on Saturday. “He’s my favorite player and I would love to just finish my career as close as I can as far as rebounds.” Wilt's total might be way out of Howard's reach at this point in his career, but if the veteran center has a couple of years left in him, he'll surely continue to move up.