Mike Brown, Dwight Howard

Dwight Howard says his back still feels “achy”


Dwight Howard will walk out on to the floor for the tip off of the NBA season Tuesday night, just like he and Lakers management — not to mention Lakers fans — wanted when they traded for him despite off-season back surgery.

But don’t mistake that for his back feeling 100 percent.

Howard told Kevin Ding of the Orange County Register not to confuse playing with being fully healed.

“My back’s strong enough, but it’s not about strength at this point,” said Howard, who had spinal surgery for a herniated disk on April 20. “It’s about endurance.”

“There are still days where it’s real achy,” Howard said, “and hard to move. And I just try to fight through it.”

This all comes back to Lakers coach Mike Brown,  he has a lot of star players he has to manage minutes for — Steve Nash and his back, Kobe Bryant and his foot (and knee and…), Pau Gasol coming off the Olympics and Howard and his back. This has not been Brown’s strong suit in Cleveland or last season in Los Angeles (Kobe and Gasol racked up heavy minutes) but this year he needs to think more like Doc Rivers and Gregg Popovich. Rest guys now to have them right when it matters.

You can’t have Howard talking about an achy back in May and June, when Brown and the Lakers will really be judged.

Report: Matt Barnes texted friend that he beat up Derek Fisher, spat in wife’s face

Derek Fisher, Matt Barnes, Russell Westbrook
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Grizzlies forward Matt Barnes reportedly attacked Knicks coach Derek Fisher for dating his estranged wife, Gloria Govan.

New details are emerging, and they cast Barnes in an even worse light.

Ian Mohr of the New York Post:

Sources told The Post that Barnes became incensed when his 6-year-old twin sons, Carter and Isaiah, called to tell him that Fisher was at the house.

Following the dust-up, Barnes, 35, texted a pal that he had not only assaulted Fisher, 41, but also took revenge on Govan, one source said.

“I kicked his ass from the back yard to the front room, and spit in her face,” the text read, according to the source.

If this becomes a criminal case, Barnes’ text could incriminate him.

In the court of public opinion, the presence of Barnes’ children and his spitting in his wife’s face make this even more disturbing.

Unfortunately, not everyone views it that way. Too many are laughing off the incident.

Albert Burneko of Deadspin had the best take I’ve seen on this situation:

When an accused domestic abuser shows up uninvited at a family party to—as a source put it to the New York Post—“beat the shit” out of someone for the offense of dating his ex, that is not a wacky character up to zany shenanigans. It is not reality TV melodrama or a cartoon or celebrities being silly. It is the behavior of a dangerous misogynist lunatic. It is an act of violent aggression. It is a man forcefully asserting personal property rights over a woman’s home, body, and life. It differs from what Ray Rice did in that elevator by degree, not by kind, and not by all that much.

I suggest reading it in full.