Howard doesn’t want to think about opening night - yet

Opening night is near and a new chapter in Dwight Howard’s life and playing career is about to begin.

He doesn’t want to think about it yet.

It’s the only way to quell the enthusiasm and nerves of his first real game as a member of his hometown Atlanta Hawks.

“I’m trying not to think about it,” Howard said with a smile Monday. “Everybody has been talking about it. I trying not to think about it and just get ready for what we’ve got going on for the season.”

The Hawks open the regular season on Thursday with a home game against the Wizards. Howard has played exhibition games during the preseason in front of a vocal and receptive crowd.

Opening night will be a much bigger stage. Still, Howard is trying to keep it all in perspective.

“We can’t win the championship on opening night,” he said. “It’s a long season. You can’t do it all on opening night. The championship won’t be won or dictated by our first game. For me, my mindset is every night I step on the floor play like it’s my last game.”