Howard made the claims Tuesday night on "Inside the NBA" -- telling Charles Barkley that naysayers like Magic Johnson have motivated to be a great player for years.
"I’ll never forget the day I came in here and you [Charles Barkley] told me I wasn’t going to be good in the NBA. And I’ll never forget the day that Magic Johnson said I wasn’t going to make it to the NBA when I was in the 10th grade. And that stuff drives me every day to want to be one of the greatest players to play the game."
Since dream-crushing doesn't exactly sound like the Magic we all know, we called him up for comment -- and were given the following statement:
"I never said that to him." -- Magic Johnson
So, who ya gonna believe? Seems pretty obvious to us ...