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Dwight Howard to skip own youth hoops camp. Ugh. Just ugh.

Aug 7, 2012, 10:26 AM EDT

Miami Heat v Orlando Magic Getty Images

Dwight Howard made changes in management of his career in recent years. Family members have louder voices in his inner circle. Since I’m not in that circle I can only judge those moves based on results and perceptions from the outside.

My word of advice to Dwight Howard and his team: Once you are in a hole, stop digging.

Like many NBA players, Dwight Howard 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.

Dwight Howard isn’t even doing that, he’s staying in Los Angeles to rehab his back and will not be at his own youth camp in Orlando, 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.

When you get into a hole, stop digging.

  1. lakerluver - Aug 7, 2012 at 11:31 PM

    Come to L.A., Dwight, we will love you!!

  2. omniusprime - Aug 7, 2012 at 11:33 PM

    The Orlando Diva is the scum of humanity, just another typical jerk pro jock who’s overpaid and overhyped. Dwightmare Coward only cares about the money, that’s why he isn’t representing our country at the Olympics. I just hope the Lakers aren’t stupid enough to bring this jerk to Lakerland. I’d root for Coward to be traded to some team in Somalia.

    • amazonfan0007 - Aug 9, 2012 at 11:33 AM

      “scum of humanity”? He’s a basketball player, not a genocidal murderer.

  3. Satsuma Illini - Aug 8, 2012 at 4:17 AM

    I’m a Magic fan. And it is a sad time to be a Magic fan. Please. Just get rid of this guy.

  4. jolink653 - Aug 8, 2012 at 10:29 AM

    You think Lebron might be slipping Dwight some money under the table to have him make such a huge mess that by comparison Lebron’s Decision doesn’t look so bad? Man can this idiot make himself look any worse than he already has? I wish the owners would get together and just agree that no one will sign him and force him out of the league…What a disgrace

  5. lakerfan4life - Aug 8, 2012 at 3:50 PM

    I don’t know… Orlando reminds me of Cleveland after the “Decision” when they acted like the “jilted girlfriend” in a breakup. Dwight Howard has made it clear, many times, he doesn’t want to be involved with Orlando any more. Many times. Now they act so surprised and hurt that he won’t come back and do things with them anymore. Take the hint.

    • joemontanawasthegreatest - Aug 9, 2012 at 6:05 AM

      “Clear” must be defined differently in the Lakerfan4life household.

    • ksctychiefs - Aug 10, 2012 at 10:49 PM

      magic fan here:…. so dwightmare wanted to leave,fine……but why did dh have to get one of the best nba coaches(svg) fired in the process?…….

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