1. Dwight Howard isn't better at shooting free throws left-handed than he is at shooting free throws right-handed, which is both reasonable and a little bit of a bummer, since it eliminates one possible, albeit unlikely, solution to the woes that have seen the All-Star big man make fewer than 50 percent of his free throws for two straight seasons. Prior unsuccessful solutions include taking a really long time to shoot, lining up six or seven inches behind the foul line, and practicing a lot. The saga continues. Wu-Tang. Wu-Tang.
2. Here's Dwight diagnosing his free-throw problems, according to the Los Angeles Times' T.J. Simers: "I have only one problem and it's between my ears. I just think too much." There are probably a lot of sports fans (especially in Orlando and Los Angeles) nodding their heads right now — although many might replace "think" with "talk."
3. Howard also told Simers he saw the Los Angeles Lakers' team psychiatrist last season for some help with that between-the-ears issue, which might strike some readers as odd but is actually a pretty common practice for athletes and seems like a good idea, leave-no-stone-unturned-wise.
5. Despite the fact that the Lakers can offer Howard, who will become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, about $30 million more than any other prospective suitor, the center remains determined to test the waters: "It's free agency and I have the opportunity to choose where I'm going to play. God opens doors, and I'm relying on my faith to direct me. I don't think it's fair I get criticized for waiting on such an opportunity."
6. Here's Howard on his much-scrutinized relationship with coach Mike D'Antoni: "I love him. He's a great person. [...] He's a great person and I'm glad we had the opportunity to be together." ("Had," huh?)
7. Howard thinks negative fan/media reaction to his saying he was playing hurt after coming off back surgery and tearing the labrum in his right shoulder last year "wasn't fair to me," and he plans to stop trying to "please everybody," which sounds familiar. (The season starts tomorrow.)
8. Bailey, the Los Angeles Kings' mascot, would demolish 'em both.
Hat-tip to Next Impulse Sports.
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- Dwight Howard
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