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Dwight Howard timeline: How former Magic star revitalized career with Lakers

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The first time Dwight Howard joined the Lakers, he posed for a Sports Illustrated cover with Steve Nash. It was Howard’s first team in the NBA outside of the Magic, who had drafted him in 2004. The pair was supposed to buoy the latter stages of Kobe Bryant’s career to more NBA Finals glory.

The Howard-Nash combination didn’t work in LA. Howard signed with Houston that offseason, and since then he’s played for the Hawks, Hornets and Wizards. Howard is back with the Lakers in 2020, though, as a bench piece on a team led by LeBron James and Anthony Davis that has reached the NBA Finals. The NBA’s active leader in rebounds and blocks has found his niche. 

After a few years where it looked like the final stages of Howard’s career would be filled with disappointment, his return to the Lakers has left the potential for a strong ending to his last chapter.

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Dwight Howard thrives as Orlando’s No. 1 pick

Howard entered the NBA out of high school, a 19-year old from Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy. He was the obvious No. 1 pick for the Magic, a player they hoped could be the next iteration of the youthful Shaquille O’Neal who’d provided the Magic such joy before he bolted for Los Angeles. 

The young center was as advertised, and maybe then some. Howard averaged a double-double every year he played for the Magic (and for the first 14 years of his NBA career overall). Most years, there was no doubt who the best center in the NBA was — it was Howard, easily. 

Between 2008 and 2013, Howard put together five straight seasons averaging two or more blocks per game. Howard’s swats were emphatic,

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US faces tight timeline for 2024 moon landing, NASA chief tells Senate

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NASA needs to have a new  lunar lander and giant rocket ready by next year in order to return astronauts to the moon by 2024, the space agency’s chief Jim Bridenstine told Congress Wednesday (Sept. 23). 

In a Senate appropriations committee hearing, Bridenstine said NASA aims to send an uncrewed mission, called Artemis 1, around the moon in November 2021 to prepare for the first orbital mission with astronauts two years later, Artemis 2. The Artemis 3 mission would follow, sending astronauts to the south pole of the moon in 2024. 

Bridenstine said he is worried about the effects on the Artemis program if any of the missions are delayed which could happen for technical or funding reasons. 

“If that Artemis [1] mission pushes too far from 2021, if it starts to encroach on Artemis 2 in 2023, it creates a crescendo where if one [mission] starts getting pushed, the others start getting pushed,” Bridenstine said in the livestreamed broadcast.

Currently, though, everything is on track for a 2024 deadline, Bridenstine added. A design for one or two landers will be finalized in February 2021 (it is currently being competed between three private groups) and Artemis 1 is expected to launch that November. A lengthy “green run” trail for the Space Launch System megarocket,which was delayed by the coronavirus pandemic, is underway, keeping the booster on track for its debut launch in November 2021. 

Bridenstine said everyone needs to stick as closely to NASA’s timeline as possible to eliminate programmatic and cost risk from Artemis’ first landing stretching on past 2024. Previous bipartisan agreements, however, suggested a NASA moon landing could be approved as late as 2028 — a possibility that was raised again by the U.S. House of Representatives in January.

The Trump administration’s request is