Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard lost a foul shooting contest to Kelzer Nielsen, and the cameras were rolling for posterity.
Nielsen, identified in some media accounts by the first name of Kelly, a Phoenix mom of three, is the daughter of Los Angeles Times columnist T.J. Simers.
Howard, who may or may not flee the Lakers for the Houston Rockets or another team, is a notoriously poor foul shooter. This season he averaged 49 percent from the free throw line; his NBA career average is slightly better at about 59 percent.
Simers described the matchup that took place at UCLA between Dwight Howard and his daughter in this way: “My daughter, Kelzer, is a mother now with three children, and it’s been more than a decade since she spent much time shooting a basketball. But I flew Kelzer in from Arizona to teach Dwight Howard how to shoot free throws because she still has to be better than he is.”
Howard makes an interesting admission on the video (see embed below) about his struggles from the charity stripe: “I can shoot free throw until the moon turns blue, but if I get into a game and I think too much, I’m going to miss it.”
As quoted by Simers, Howard echoed this the sentiment when he said that “I have only one problem and it’s between my ears. I just think too much.” The star also admitted seeing the team psychiatrist.
Neilsen does a bit of trash talking during the head-to-head competition, first telling Howard that she’s never heard of them, and later saying “Kobe thinks you’re soft.”
She made 5 out of 10, while Howard, shooting with his left hand, was 3-9, after missing his first five attempts. As the loser of the free throw shooting contest, Howard agreed to give $,5000 to the charity of the father/daughter act’s choice. Howard refused any tutoring from Nielsen, however. “He declined Kelzer’s offer to help with his shooting technique, saying he will not change the way he shoots free throws this off-season. He’ll just shoot more of them.”
Last November, Howard lost a free throw contest with Bailey, the Los Angeles Kings mascot.
Dwight Howard becomes an unrestricted free agent on July 1.