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Video: Dwight Howard loses shooting contest to a hockey mascot

Nov 30, 2012, 10:54 AM EDT

Right now the Los Angeles Kings should be basking in the glow of winning the first Stanley Cup in franchise history and working on their title defense. Instead, they are locked out. (And NBA fans, before you mock the NHL for locking out a second time costing them games, know that some owners were grumbling not long after the NBA came back to work last year, so just wait five years.)

So to drum up some news, the Kings lion mascot headed to Lakers practice (the Lakers and Kings share a facility in the L.A. Area) to challenge Dwight Howard to a shooting contest from the free throw line and he arc. Without knowing anything else, I’d still have bet on the lion. And that would have been wise.

Hat tip to The Basketball Jones and my old employers at


  1. ron05342 - Nov 30, 2012 at 11:59 AM

    It really is amazing to me that a professional basketball players cannot make his free throws.

    It’s not just about a good shooter in a mascot uniform. There are millions of people in this country who can shoot free throws better than Howard, as well as many others in the NBA.

    It never used to be like this. Free throws really were free; most NBA players in the ’50s ’60s and ’70s converted. This is all a by-product of very poor coaching from high school on up…these guys should be made to practice good free throw shooting form every single flipping day.

    • ihavenonickname - Nov 30, 2012 at 12:22 PM

      They do practice free throws everyday, these guys work really hard at it. I’m convinced it has everything to do with how big their hands are. Dwight, Rondo… wh, name a guy known for his big hands that’s good at FT’s…. Dirk and Pau? big guys but NOT big hands!

      • eventhorizon04 - Nov 30, 2012 at 1:24 PM

        Michael Jordan had freakishly-large hands – one of the reasons why he had one of the best shot-fakes in the NBA (excellent grip on the ball, even with 1 hand).

        He was a good free throw shooter.

    • eventhorizon04 - Nov 30, 2012 at 1:22 PM

      Most guys do work on free throws every day.

      However, some guys put more effort into than others – i.e., they work on it A LOT every day. As mentioned in last night’s broadcast, Tiago Splitter went from “complete liability” at the free throw line to “not awful” in just 1 offseason, after the Thunder intentionally fouled him to slow down the game.

      • eventhorizon04 - Nov 30, 2012 at 1:22 PM

        *after the Thunder intentionally fouled him to slow down the game in last year’s playoffs

  2. chargerdillon - Nov 30, 2012 at 12:06 PM

    How can he be paid millions of dollars, be part of a billion dollar franchise, and nobody in the building can teach this guy a technique for hitting the shots better than he currently does.

    His technique is so bad he’d be better off doing it grandma style like Wilt. If the Lakers are going to pay him what they are, they should invest in making him shoot better……

    Dwight Howards carefree attitude just wont work in Los Angeles, we like our stars to have a killer instinct, there’s no joke when we’re a .500 ball club, it’s not funny, it’s unacceptable. Kobe has already tried to make him see this, sure seems to me Dwight would be better suited for another franchise.

  3. aboogy123456 - Nov 30, 2012 at 12:18 PM

    If Dwight truly wants to be a better player he needs to improve his free throws, and to do so he needs to fix his fundamentals.

    He seems like he’s pushing the ball, but when you shoot free throws you need a nice roll off your fingers. he should make sure there is space between the ball and his palm. his release is also too low, if he raises up and releases over his head then he’ll have better results. Pau can teach him these fundamentals, his free throw form is great.

    At first maybe the results won’t be good, but if Dwight practices shooting the correct way there’s no reason he shouldn’t be shooting above 60% by the end of the year.

  4. paulhargis53 - Nov 30, 2012 at 12:54 PM

    I’m reading the book Tall Tales by Terry Pluto right now. There is a section in there where they talk about Wilts FT shooting. He said, and it was corroborated by Jack Twynan and others, that he could hit 75-80% of them in practice. But when it came to games he just couldn’t hit them. It was a mental issue. Perhaps Howard has the same deal?
    Sometimes its not lack of fundamentals and/or lack of practice.

    It’s all well and good that some of you can hit your shots at the YMCA, its a bit different in front of 15,000 people….

    • eventhorizon04 - Nov 30, 2012 at 1:28 PM

      Fair points. Shaquille O’Neal also claimed that he regularly hit over 70% of his free throws in practice.

      However, the response to that information is to encourage Dwight to keep practicing (to get his free-throw shot to the point where he doesn’t have to think) as well as see a sports psychologist.

      Dwight’s a young player – it’s worth the investment to improve his free throw shooting. It will not only improve his effectiveness as a player because he’d earn more points at the free throw line, but it may also prolong his career (since other teams will have less incentive to intentionally foul him).

    • eventhorizon04 - Nov 30, 2012 at 1:35 PM

      As an aside –
      I think all the readers of this blog would enjoy more comments from you like this one (in which you share something you’ve read or observed that’s interesting and relevant to the topic being discussed), as opposed to you attacking LakerLuver.

      I’m not a fan of LakerLuver, but to be blunt, your near-daily attacks haven’t exactly had any effect on LakerLuver’s “enthusiasm” for the Lakers, (“Mamba-out”), so I don’t think your battle with him is accomplishing much.

      You’re free to continue your feud, of course. I’m just suggesting that you should consider whether attacking LakerLuver serves any useful purpose.

  5. paulhargis53 - Nov 30, 2012 at 2:42 PM

    Dude, ive not posted for days, sometimes a week at a time and the idiot continues to poke the bear.

    • sellahh - Nov 30, 2012 at 3:47 PM

      Days? A WEEK? Man, you sure are tuff juice.

  6. magicbucs - Nov 30, 2012 at 3:16 PM

    I saw this on yahoo a couple days ago lol. C’mon Kurt…. Anyway dwights not a shooter and that person in the mascot suit could of been a sharp shooter at a 3rd division college.

    • dko83 - Dec 1, 2012 at 3:52 AM

      Yeah but he was in a mascot suit…

  7. paulhargis53 - Nov 30, 2012 at 4:18 PM

    What’s that? I don’t speak Ebonics, sorry.

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