Dwight Howard Ditches Superman Moniker for Iron Man

Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard is ready to use a different superhero as his nickname moving forward, according to Dan Woike of the Orange County Register.

On @twcsportsnet #Lakers broadcast, Dwight Howard said he no longer wants to be called "Superman." New nickname? "Ironman."

— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) October 8, 2012 It's understandable that Howard wants to change his nickname from "Superman," because there are so many athletes who have it as their nickname that it wasn't something unique to Howard.

Given Howard's recent feud with former Lakers legend Shaquille O'Neal, who was also nicknamed "Superman" (among many others), maybe Howard wanted to have a nickname that wasn't associated with the future Hall of Famer.

The real question is, why would Howard choose "Iron Man"?

We usually label players in all sports as "iron men" when they show a remarkable level of durability and continue to play games even when injuries make it hard for them to do so.

When fans think of players using "Iron Man" in nicknames, one of the first that comes to mind is former Baltimore Orioles star and baseball Hall of Famer Cal Ripken, Jr., who was nicknamed "The Ironman" because of his record for consecutive games played.

To his credit, Howard had never missed more than four games in a single season until last year and played in every single game during the first four years of his career. However, his recovery from back surgery could potentially force Howard to miss a number of games to start the 2012-13 season, though at this time that is unclear.

The nickname "Iron Man" could apply to Howard, but even if it fits, you don't get to nickname yourself. That's not how it works.

Once Howard gets on the floor with his Lakers teammates and begins his career in purple and gold, fans and the media will probably come up with a cool nickname for him if he really doesn't ...

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