Dwight Howard, NBA Live 10 Cover Boy, Wins EA King Of The Court
Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard was named winner of EA's King of the Court competition, an informal multi-sport contest designed to promote EA Sports new line of 2010 titles. Howard competed alongside tennis star Venus Williams, NHL star Milan Lucic, and soccer player Sasha Kljestan of the MLS.
The contest was part of EA's launch of their Fall Starting Lineup, which includes NBA Live, NHL 10, FIFA 10, and Grand Slam Tennis. During the King of the Court competition, Howard, Lucic, Williams, and Kljestan competed in basketball, hockey, soccer, and tennis contests. Not surprisingly, many athletes struggled playing their favorite sport.
Howard ended up winning the King of the Court contest, much to his surprise. After being announced as having the highest score of all competitors, he told the MC, "You lyin'." Afterward, he held his victory trophy over his head and made a victory speech, which he addressed to the "People of Earth." Howard, whose nickname is Superman, explained that he came from a planet inhabited by himself, Shaquille O'Neal, and Barack Obama.
Watching Dwight Howard joke his way through the day, it was easy to see that working for EA is something of a dream come true. There was a time when jocks dreamed of being on a box of Wheaties, that all-American cereal that has featured sports stars on its cover since the 1930s. Today’s generation of athletes, however, weren’t weaned on Wheaties but on video games, and they dream of being on the cover of an EA title.
When basketball star Gilbert Arenas spoke at a press conference after being selected to grace the cover of EA Sports’ NBA Live 08, he actually had to choke back tears. Howard had a similar reaction when he was announced as NBA Live '10's cover model. During a recent appearance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Howard saw his face on the cover of NBA Live '10 for the first time. His reaction was memorable.
watching Dwight Howard's initial reaction as he holds the box in his hands is absolutely priceless. For a few seconds, the 6'11" basketball player is once again the young boy growing up in Atlanta, Georgia, hoping to one day make it big as a basketball player. It's a candid look at a dream coming true, and heartwarming as all get out.
Sitting at EA's campus in Burnaby, BC, you could tell that Howard was still living his dream. "Growing up as a kid I wanted to be on the cover of an NBA game like NBA Live," says Howard. "I've always wanted to say, 'EA Sports: It's in the Game.' This is just a blessing. There's millions of people who would love to be with EA Sports and be on the cover."
Milan Lucic also sees his involvement with EA Sports as part of his childhood dream, although he said in an unintentionally crude way.
"As a kid you always wanted to be in the game," says Lucic. "I was always thinking one day I'm going to be in the game and I was always thinking I'm going to be in the game and I'll be playing with myself in the game."