If Dwight Howard has kept a low profile since the Lakers’ first round playoff dispatch at the hands of San Antonio,  perhaps that’s because he’d not been presented with an interview opportunity nearly as intriguing as one with LA Times master baiter TJ Simers….in the midst of a free-throw shooting contest with Simers’ adult daughter, Kelzer (“Howard could not have been more gracious in setting himself up for defeat”).

“One year ago I couldn’t do this,” he said while standing on one foot. “I was so limited. I couldn’t lift, sprint or shoot. This summer I’ll shoot 1,000 shots every day.”

The poor rims, they’re in for such a beating.

“You watch,” he said.

“I don’t see many Atlanta games,” I told him.

The daughter and Howard continued shooting for almost two hours, or as long as it took him to finally beat her.

Between missed shots, I asked why he hasn’t committed to the Lakers.

“It’s free agency and I have the opportunity to choose where I’m going to play,” he said. “God opens doors, and I’m relying on my faith to direct me. I don’t think it’s fair I get criticized for waiting on such an opportunity.”

So what do you think of D’Antoni?

“I love him,” he said. “He’s a great person.”

Is he a great coach?

“He’s a great person and I’m glad we had the opportunity to be together,” said Howard, which some will undoubtedly interpret as goodbye.