Sometimes vicious booing just isn't sufficiently satisfying.
With the Rockets well on their way to a blowout victory in Howard's first game back at the Staples Center since signing with Houston last summer, the All-Star center fell victim to a sophomoric (but hilarious) prank as he left the court. Howard extended his right hand to high five a series of fans as he headed towards the locker room and one gentleman raised his hand in such a way that Howard couldn't miss him. Once Howard approached, though, the man quickly ducked his hand out of the way before the All-Star center could actually make contact. Gotcha! Perfectly executed. Just as he surely diagrammed the action on his white board.
Go ahead and add this to the NBA's growing collection of "left hanging" moments. Last year, Heat forward LeBron James famously left a fan in Denver hanging. Then, Warriors forward Andre Iguodala didn’t complete a pair of handshakes with fans after knocking down a game-winner. Back in November, Thunder center Steven Adams decided to shake his own hand after Clippers center Byron Mullens refused to give him a "good game" handshake.
Of course, this non-handshake was hardly the worst abuse Howard endured from the Staples Center crowd, as he was booed and showered with "Howard Sucks!" chants throughout the night. After the game, though, Howard and the Rockets got the last laugh by mocking those chants in a video posted from the team plane.
Howard, 28, decided to sign a four-year, $87.6 million contract with the Rockets back in July after the Lakers launched a “Stay Dwight!” billboard campaign in hopes of re-signing him. Howard is averaging 18.9 points, 12.5 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game this season and he was selected to his eighth consecutive All-Star Game. He scored 20 points (on 9-for-14 shooting), grabbed 13 rebounds and blocked three shots against the Lakers on Wednesday.