Will Dwight Howard Be Next Great Big Man to Have Career Derailed by Injuries?

The irony of the Los Angeles Lakers visiting to the Brooklyn Nets without Dwight Howard on the floor won't likely be lost on anyone who's paid any attention to the All-Star center's exploits over the last year or so. Brooklyn was Howard's preferred destination during the "Dwightmare." He seemed to desire a long-term partnership with Deron Williams, and the Nets explored every possible avenue to make that dream a reality.

However, the hesitancy of the Orlando Magic's management to move quickly enough on a deal, coupled with the Lakers' careful maneuvering in the background, left the Nets with Joe Johnson and a re-signed Brook Lopez and LA with a big man hampered by a surgically-repaired back.

After all that, Howard will spend an evening at the Barclays Center in warmups on the Lakers' bench. It'll be the third time in as many games that the Lakers will take the floor without their biggest prize of the offseason on account of a partially torn labrum.

And that's no joke for Howard or the Lakers. The annals of NBA history are littered with cautionary tales of players who were tall and talented and could've accomplished much more than they did had they not been betrayed by their own bodies.

The physically taxing responsibilities of the typical NBA center (i.e. rebounding, blocking shots, setting screens) only compound the corporeal difficulties that naturally accompany the pressures placed on such unusually large frames by such seemingly simple acts as running, jumping and shuffling side to side.

It's precisely why some towering terrors, like Boston Celtics "power forward" Kevin Garnett, prefer to be officially listed below seven feet. That class of height leaves one ripe for typecasting in a role that incurs more of a toll rather than allowing one to float away from the paint for jumpers as the Big Ticket so often does.  

The Lakers, of all franchises, should know what can and often does ...

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