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February 24, 2015
By Stan Silliman


What’s a crotch slap between friends and teammates, anyway… even if or especially if it involves NBA’s resident prankster, clown jester, Houston Rocket Dwight Howard?
We’re talking about the NBA film which showed, during the Rockets-Clippers game at Staples Center, a plaid suited Dwight Howard, nursing a swollen knee, taking a seat on the bench next to guard Isaiah Canaan and as Dwight is sitting himself down he grabs a portion of Isaiah’s anatomy.  We don’t know if it is because Dwight is a huge giant with equilibrium problems we ordinarily heighted people never think about so he needs some kind of a handle to hold on to in order to study his giant self as he lowers himself … or he just did it to be playful.
If you’re an NBA junkie, you know all about this. If not, strap yourself in because it gets strange.
This was all on film, during the game, after Dwight was returning to the bench after being interviewed. The suit Dwight was sporting was spectacularly gaudy. Gaudy enough to make Russell Westbrook do a double take. It was plaid but not a pleasant Scottish ‘here’s me kilt’ plaid. It was more of a garish plaid like you might see in a line dance at Gilley’s.
All I’m saying is Dwight Howard had to know when he was returning from his interview the cameras were going to be following. He had on a suit you could not, not follow, if you were a camera. So when Dwight sat himself down while grabbing Isaiah Canaan’s crotch, which, by the way, was not for a casual few seconds – in some circles it was long enough to be considered a “job” – did Dwight think no one would notice? Can he evoke the old standby – ‘What happens in the privacy of his own stadium’ in this case? We think not. Even if there were only like twenty thousand folks in the room and few million watching on television, palming is going to be noticed.
Howard is coming under a lot of criticism, a few saying he broke a batch of “bro-laws.” One, being you never grab another man’s genitals … without first making eye contact. However, one might contend this was a no-look pass. Bible thumpers are saying this is proof we as a nation are taking the handbasket route. If they’re talking about Dwight Howard’s hand, it has to be a pretty big basket. But he did fondle a player with the most biblical name in the NBA – Isaiah Canaan. That’s a prophet and a land, folks. Not a good place to get your hand caught.
Some fans are coming to Dwight Howard’s defense, calling him a shot blocker, as in ‘no foul, all ball’. Others are saying Canaan was worried about a hernia and Dwight was trying to save him medical check-up expenses. Still more are saying Howard is just a funny, playful, juvenile guy and if you happen to sitting to his right you need to know how to play defense. Even more are saying “Isn’t it possible Dwight was a little off his game after being interviewed by the disarming Heather Cox?” To this we say we could insert a juvenile joke right here but we’re keeping this column classy.
In case you’re wondering if Isaiah and Dwight are still friends, we don’t know. We do know Isaiah Canaan has been traded and is now a starting 76er in Philadelphia. Does Philly, you ask, have players even younger and more juvenile than Dwight Howard? Younger, yes, eight players under 23. In fact, of their entire 15 player roster only one, Jason Richardson, is older than Howard. More juvenile? Doubt it.

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