Originally posted on Bloguin Best  |  Last updated 6/4/13
If there is one perfectly fair criticism of Dwight Howard's game that has not changed it is his free throw shooting. Howard has never been a great free throw shooter, but his precipitous decline since shooting a career-best 67.1 percent his rookie year has simply been astonishing and confusing. You are supposed to get better at these things, particularly when you know it is your weakness. After years of getting private free throw tutoring -- from Clifford Ray teaching him the "gooseneck" early on his career to seeking psychiatric help for his free throw troubles according to an interview with T.J. Simers of the Los Angeles Times -- nothing seems to have worked. Howard bottomed out last year, shooting a paltry 49.2 percent from the foul line, his second consecutive season shooting worse than 50 percent. The contest Simers set up with his daughter, a housewife and mother of three, is sure not to increase his confidence. Yes, Howard lost a free throw shooting contest to a journalist's daughter: {youtube}UUTx4_gUcUk{/youtube} OK, so the best was Howard could make more free throws left-handed than Simers' daughter could right-handed with a $5,000 donation to charity being made if he was wrong. He was wrong and he cut the check. Simers said Howard "could not have been more gracious in defeat." And that gets to some of the strange dichotomies created about Howard in the last two years. Howard is viewed as an extremely selfish and self-centered player who will whine until he gets what he wants. At times he is that. He wanted to be the center of attention in Los Angeles and wanted to the spotlight that comes with playing in a big market. He also wanted to be "the man" and found that difficult in Los Angeles, particularly coming off an injury. He was never careful with what he said because he genuinely wants everyone to like him. Howard never realized that playing both sides, alienates everyone. Thus the backlash in Orlando and nationally as he seemed always to be wavering. Now that Howard is a free agent, everyone wonders what his future will hold. Howard does not want to talk about it much and no one is willing to put in a guess, but that is all he will be asked. What is overlooked is that Howard is generally a good person. He is willing to give his time to fans and to charitable organizations and his community. All this while constantly working on his game. Maybe that has not been enough to please the pundits, but he has improved offensively while remaining a defensive force (this injury-riddled season excepted). Howard finally admitted in his interview with Simers that he cannot please everybody. Perhaps this is the self-awareness Howard needs to finally focus on basketball. Perhaps he just needs a settled future and a more defined role. He did not reveal any cluse on what he was thinking only that winning is most important to him and that the TV and entertainment deals will come later. Perhaps Howard is maturing through this process and is ready to get back to being himself on and off the court. And, of course, winning solves everything. [follow]
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

WATCH: Russell Westbrook posterizes DeMarcus Cousins to seal win

Tampa Bay Lightning trade star goaltender Ben Bishop to the LA Kings in surprise deal

Divac makes bold promise after trading DeMarcus Cousins

Popovich praises Magic, wishes him well with Lakers

Report: Andrew Bogut likely to join Cavs after buyout

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Broncos expected to 'at least discuss' Romo

Report: Raiders don't expect to keep Latavius Murray

Report: Josh Hamilton needs another knee operation

Ball's father says comment about Lakers was misquoted

Revis hints he is open to taking significant pay cut

Several NBA executives have concerns about Lonzo Ball’s father

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

Box Score 2/24: A night of NBA disrespect

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

The NFL off-season is a passer’s fancy

The Aesthetic: Pushing the boundaries of the three-pointer

NBA coaches who should be fired soon

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

The NFL off-season is a passer’s fancy

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher who has recorded 10 or more shutouts in a single season

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker