Taipei (Taiwan News) — Former NBA player Dwight Howard expressed dissatisfaction with the T1 League Taoyuan Leopards’ plan to cut their salary by 65% next season, and expressed interest in playing in the NBA again, but also kept the possibility open. Return to Taiwan.
Howard said in an interview with TVBS on Wednesday (June 7) that the Panthers offered him a 65% reduction in his first-season salary. He said it was “very disrespectful” as he felt he “brought value to the team”.
Howard said the pay cut was “very disappointing” and he felt he deserved more. Howard’s salary for next season will be calculated using a new method, team chief executive Zhang Jianwei told the news agency.
Last season, Howard played in 20 of 30 games and missed the rest due to injury, Zhang said. So, under the new pay package, there are “winning bonuses, losing bonuses and non-bonuses for not playing, plus a fixed base salary”.
The CEO said that with the new incentive package, he wants Howard to “play hard and play hard.” He said that as long as Howard plays and wins, the bonus plus base salary rate will ensure that his salary will not fall below his previous salary.
During his time with the Panthers, Howard averaged 23.2 points, 16.2 rebounds and 5 assists per game. He also won the league’s “Foreign Player of the Year” award.
According to FTV News, Howard’s monthly salary last season was rumored to be at least $200,000.
After returning to the United States, Howard told the Sacramento Observer on Monday (June 5) that he wanted to play in the NBA again, and that the Sacramento Kings were his first choice. “I would love to help the Sacramento Kings fight for a championship. Although I believe their team is ready,” Howard said.
On Wednesday, however, Howard thanked fans for their support on Instagram, including the hashtag #untilnexttime, and ended the post with the following question in Mandarin: “Please leave a comment below asking if and when should I return to Taiwan?”