HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Just when you think Dwight Howard‘s Q score in Orlando couldn’t sink any lower comes news that the former Magic and now Lakers big man is in China on a shoe company-sponsored promotional tour. And this comes two weeks after he didn’t make it to Orlando for a basketball camp for kids in Orlando, as the Orlando Sentinel was quick to point out.
We’re not going to judge, since we don’t know what sort of doctor’s orders Howard was operating on in either instance. But strictly from a perception standpoint, this one stings, especially for the kids still heartbroken that their favorite player bolted town and blew off their camp in the same two-week stretch.
A few more details from Josh Robbins of the Sentinel:
Dan Fegan, Howard’s agent, deferred to adidas officials when asked why Howard flew overseas but did not appear two weeks earlier at his Orlando day camp. In a statement issued to the Orlando Sentinel, adidas officials said Howard was cleared to travel “just last week.”
In the statement, adidas officials said: “Since Dwight’s injury our focus has been on his recovery. His health has continued to improve and just last week he was cleared to travel. We are excited that Dwight is now able to participate in fan and community events as he continues to prepare for the NBA season. Dwight is an amazing athlete and outstanding partner with fans around the world.”
To be sure, Howard had remained in Southern California almost all summer after spending large portions of the 2011 offseason traveling to such locations as China, Japan, Mongolia, Russia, Spain and Tanzania.
This trip is supposed to be shorter than Howard’s prior trips to the Far East. Also, Gregg Darbyshire, the chief executive of ProCamps Worldwide, the company that runs Howard’s camps, said that, as far as he knows, Howard’s previously scheduled camp for kids in China has been canceled.
Granted, Howard savaged his Q score all last season with the foolishness that was his trade request (and the obligatory denials of said request, all 15 of them) and the eight months of nonsense that revolved around that circus.
Honestly, we can’t think of a whole lot Howard can do to improve his image until the next high-profile superstar — pick anyone — forces his way out of town. Or the Lakers win a title.