Dwight Howard played in eight of the Houston Rockets’ first nine games, but has not been out of action for nine consecutive games since starting the season healthy.
— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) December 7, 2014
The first game of this streak began on November 19 when the Lakers came to play in Houston. Reportedly, Howard did not play because of a strained knee although some assumed he simply wanted to avoid Kobe Bryant on the court (yeah, that’s dumb). A more valid concern actually came up right before the game versus the Lakers. Howard had just been cleared of charges for child abuse case in Florida, and a case in Georgia had been reopened on November 18, the night before the Lakers game.
Fox Sports summed up the case in Florida.
According to TMZ, Dr. Kesler (first name unknown) believed the alleged bruises and abrasions to Howard’s 6-year-old son Braylon Reed were “consistent with Braylon being struck with the buckle end of the belt . . . with excessive force, resulting in soft tissue injuries such as bruising and abrasions.” NBC reports that Howard admitted using a belt on the boy to police.
However, TMZ reports that Florida’s Department of Children and Families (DCF) decided the allegations of abuse were “not substantiated” — which in Florida means presence of “credible evidence” but not enough for authorities to pursue legal action.
Howard’s attorney David Oscar Markus responded to child abuse allegations against his client through a statement to the Sentinel, in which he dubbed the accusations as “frivolous” and portayed them as part of a custody battle for the boy.
“It is troubling to see a mother use her son as a pawn against his father, which is what is happening in this case,” the statement reads. “Dwight Howard will continue to act in the best interest of his children and do whatever is necessary to protect their welfare and best interests.”
Royce Reed, mother of the Howard’s child and former participant on reality TV show Basketball Wives, has said she will continue pursuing charges and claimed the investigation is still open. Reed also took Howard to court last year in an emergency hearing because she said Howard put their son’s health in danger by not refilling his drug prescription. The Georgia case first began in the summer of 2014 but very little can be found to show when the case closed or why it has been reopened, but Howard has not played a game since the case reopened.
This is purely speculation, but it is totally possible that the Rockets organization has asked Howard to sit out until these legal issues are finished. It sounds crazy, but isn’t it also crazy that almost no one knows about these child abuse allegations against Howard? Compare the anonymity of Howard’s cases to the 24-hour cycle of mudslinging we witnessed with Adrian Peterson’s child abuse case in Texas. Yes, Peterson’s case included pictures but it’s hard to believe similar kinds of evidence are not present with Howard’s cases.
Even more crazy, Charlotte Hornets forward Jeff Taylor pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor domestic violence charge and was suspended 24 games by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, yet the casual sports fan won’t find any details of Taylor’s abuse without some digging since it’s not trending or leading any broadcast. Here’s part of the Commissioner Silver’s statement on the matter.
Based on the NBA’s investigation, the following summary of facts is undisputed. After a night of heavy drinking on September 24, 2014, Mr. Taylor and the woman had an intense and high-volume argument that began in the hotel room where Mr. Taylor was staying, prompting hotel guests to call Marriott security. The argument escalated and resulted in Mr. Taylor shoving the woman in a violent manner into the hotel hallway so that she fell to the ground and struck her head on the opposite door, slapping her arm, and punching a hole in a wall near his hotel room. She had marks on her upper arm and a bump on her head but declined medical treatment.
Shortly thereafter, when Mr. Taylor was arrested by East Lansing police officers, he was belligerent and uncooperative.
On October 29,2014, Mr. Taylor pleaded guilty to misdemeanor domestic violence assault and malicious destruction of hotel property; the remaining assault charge with respect to the security officer was dismissed. Mr. Taylor was sentenced to 18 months of probation.
This happened inside a hotel. If you believe this doesn’t have visual, perhaps audible, evidence all over the place then you are crazy. No one is pursuing it. Imagine if this were a NFL player.
So Howard’s injury is likely legit but if something was going down, we wouldn’t know anyway. The NBA’s PR people are that good.