Yep, he is. Really. He'll be staying in southern Los Angeles to continue rehabbing his back rather than attending his own youth basketball camp in Orlando. SMH. This guy's collection of L's this year is second to none right now. Hopefully, he reconsiders.
Like many NBA players, Dwight lends his name to a youth basketball camp. Parents pay — in this case $199 — for a week of instruction from qualified coaches and a chance to see and hang out with the star player. While some players are actively involved in their camps, others make an appearance on the last day, sign some autographs and collect their check.
Mr. Howard isn’t even doing that, he’s staying in L.A. to rehab his back and will not be at his own youth camp, reports the Orlando Sentinel’s Mike Bianchi, who takes a few swipes at Howard:
"Originally, Howard was scheduled to be back in Orlando a few days after having out-patient back surgery, but he hasn’t been seen by the Magic in Orlando in more than three months. He has, however, attended at least two Los Angeles Dodgers games and a portion of the adidas Nations basketball tournament in L.A.
Howard’s annual camp originally was scheduled for July 1-2 at UCF, and Howard was supposed to attend both days. But it was postponed and rescheduled for Aug. 13-14 at Orlando Volleyball Academy. Although the camp still will be held next week. Andrew Nicholson, the Magic’s first-round draft pick, will fill in for Howard.
I’ve said it once and I’ll say again: It’s hard to believe Dwight is physically unable to attend a youth basketball camp, walk around the gym, offer some words of encouragement, take pictures and sign some autographs for the kids."
It doesn’t have to be public, you don’t have to take questions. But you have to show up. I attended these camps as a youth — my parents forced me to go to the at that time well retired John Wooden camp and it was one of the best experiences of my childhood — and seeing the athletes and listening to them talk got a message of hard work and dedication through. Those touches matter.
Howard has slaughtered his “good guy” PR image through this effort to get out of Orlando, in large part because he made LeBron James look smooth and professional at it.
[via Pro Basketball Talk]