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Dwight Howard says 65% pay cut by Taiwan team 'very disrespectful'

Howard leaves door open for 2nd season in Taiwan and asks fans if and when he should return

(Instagram, Dwight Howard screenshots)

(Instagram, Dwight Howard screenshots)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Former NBA player Dwight Howard expressed dissatisfaction with the T1 League's Taoyuan Leopard's plan to cut his pay by 65% for the next season and showed interest in making another run at the NBA, but left the door open for a possible return to Taiwan.

In an interview with TVBS on Wednesday (June 7), Howard said the Leopards offered him a contract that would provide 65% less in salary than what they gave him in his first season. He said this was "very disrespectful" as he felt that he had "brought value to the team."

Howard said the pay cut was "very disappointing" and he felt that he deserved more. The team's CEO, Chang Chien-wei (張建偉) told the news agency that Howard's salary next season would be based on a new calculation method.

Chang said that during this past season, Howard played 20 out of 30 games and missed the rest due to injuries. Therefore, under the new payment scheme, there is a "winning bonus, losing bonus, and non-bonus for not playing, combined with a fixed base salary."

The CEO said that with the new incentive package, he hopes Howard can "play seriously and play hard." He said that as long as Howard plays in the games and wins, the bonuses combined with the base pay rate will ensure his wage will not be lower than his previous salary.

During his season with the Leopards, Howard averaged 23.2 points, 16.2 rebounds, and 5 assists per game. He also won the league's "Best Foreign Player of the Year" award.

Howard's monthly salary this past season was rumored to be at least as high as US$200,000, reported FTV News.

Since returning to the U.S., Howard told The Sacramento Observer on Monday (June 5) that he would like to make another run at the NBA, and the Sacramento Kings are his team of choice. "I would love to help the Sacramento Kings contend for a title. Even though I believe their team is pretty much set," said Howard.

However, on Wednesday, Howard took to Instagram to thank his fans for their support, including the hashtag #untilnexttime, and ended the post with the following question in Mandarin: "Leave a comment below on if and when I should return to Taiwan?"