Dwight Howard called me a liar Tuesday night. He is mistaken.
I wrote that Howard is very unhappy in Houston, and I stand by that report 100 percent. For the reasons why he is unhappy, and my best guess as to where he will finish the season (Miami), click over and give a read to my column.
But back to the liar part.
Howard was interviewed in Sacramento after the Rockets lost to the Kings, and the man asking the questions was Jonathan Feigen, longtime beat writer for the Houston Chronicle and a journalist for whom I have the utmost respect. Feigen tried to ask four questions — the first was about sending a message, the second was about defensive breakdowns and the failure to play as a unit. Howard answered the first two questions with variations of the stock jock reply “We just gotta play hard.” The third was about my report, and the fourth was unintelligible because Howard cut Feigen off before he could finish.
The important question is the third one. You can watch it on video here. The audio is poor, but this is how I transcribed it:
Feigen: “There was a report, maybe you’ve heard about it, that you were very unhappy with your role. If you hadn’t been asked, what response would you have given?”
Howard: “I haven’t said nothing to nobody about anything.”
Forget about the double negatives. Forget about Feigen’s strange phraseology.
Note that the first time Feigen asked the question, it got Howard’s attention. And after Feigen repeated his question, Howard went into defensive mode and gave another stock, jock answer about people making up lies and rumors.
No. 1: There are no lies in my story. I am very well-sourced around the league, and people tell me things that they would not tell other journalists. The sources for this story are exceptionally plugged-in to what is going on with the Rockets.
No. 2: This is not a rumor. There is a difference between a rumor and a news report. This is the latter, not the former.
Again, I stand by it 100 percent.
I had a lot more to say about the latest Dwightmare on the Rockets’ flagship radio station, SportsTalk 790 in Houston. Go ahead and give a listen to my interview with host Matt Thomas.
Chris Sheridan is publisher and editor-in-chief of SheridanHoops.com. Follow him on Twitter.