Sports Out West

Dwight Howard gets biggest laughs at ESPYs (Video)

Photo Credit: Stephen Dunn / Getty Images

If you missed the ESPN’s noble attempt to salvage the worst sports day of the year with its annual ESPY Awards, then there’s no reason to feel slighted in any way — it was a watchable show, but predictable and for the most part mundane. There were some comedians mixed in to lighten things up, and actor Jon Hamm did a good job as the host of the whole thing. 

Being in Los Angeles made it easy for the producers and writers to grab the low-hanging fruit and go after the NBA’s walking punchline, Dwight Howard. The big man was the butt of several jokes in the opening monologue, which may have been the most entertaining portion of the evening. The mostly-stoic, too-cool-for-school audience livened up at the mention of Howard’s name and ate up the material just as ESPN had hoped. 

What sticks out most are the reactions of the players — namely Dwyane Wade, Adrian Peterson and LeBron James. They typically stand up for their own, but they clearly thought it was great, just as the rest of the audience did. Not many things get these kinds of crowds going. They’re the same people who sit in the front rows at Staples Center and focus more on being seen than the action on the floor. 

But at the ESPYs, they reacted like they actually had a pulse, because everyone loves making fun of Dwight Howard. It’s too bad he wasn’t there to give an awkward, nervous smile, but hey, Texas is much nicer this time of year anyway. We get it. 

There were plenty of other good jokes in the monologue, but the Howard stuff was the best. The full video: 

Photo Credit: Stephen Dunn / Getty Images

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Michael C. Jones is the managing editor and founder of Sports Out West and a Southern California-based sports journalist. His work is also regularly featured on Yahoo! Sports and SB Nation. You can catch up with him on Twitter: @MikeJonesTweets.