Quote: ``I think it’s about to start for me. I think this really is the start of my prime, these next couple of years,’’ an introspective Howard said following the final tune-up for the opener. ``I think I’m going to reach a new height this year. I think at the end of the year I’ll be a lot better and a lot more confident in myself than I am now. I’m real confident going into the season now, but the more that I play the more comfortable I will be with certain situations.
``I really think the next couple of years, like (Magic GM) Otis (Smith) would always say to me, `You know Dwight, when you get right there about 25 or 26 years old, that’s when you are going to be great and the game will slow down to you.’ He’s right because everything is slowing down and I’m seeing things now that I didn’t see a couple of years ago. And not a lot of things are bothering me like they used to. I used to let people affect the way that I played or media or whatever, but I’m better with that now.’’
Howard’s proclamation that he is just now heading into his prime years has to make opposing centers shake in their shoes. Just last season, Howard became the first consensus All-NBA player in Magic history while setting a new league record when he led the NBA in rebounding and blocked shots in the same season for a second year in a row.
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