Police re-open investigation of Dwight Howard allegedly abusing his child

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The evidence around Dwight Howard in a recently highlighted Florida case seemed pretty damning — a doctor said it appeared the NBA star’s son was struck multiple times with the buckle end of a belt — but officially that investigation was closed with “no substantiated findings of physical injuries.”

However, Cobb County Police in Georgia have re-opened an investigation from this summer into Howard’s alleged abuse of a child, NBC News learned.

The case involves an incident during the summer of 2014, Sgt. Dana Pierce of the Cobb County Police told NBC News in a phone conversation. On Oct. 1 the Howard Phillips Center for Children and Families in Florida mailed a report to Cobb County Police of alleged child abuse. The police investigated, but said they didn’t have enough evidence to proceed.

New information on the case has emerged in the last 48 hours that caused the Cobb County Police to re-open the case, Sgt. Pierce said. To protect the alleged victim in this case the police could not provide any details.

Howard told police after the Florida incident that he had hit his child with a belt, saying he didn’t know it was wrong because that’s how he was raised. Howard’s attorney called the Florida case “frivolous allegations” and said it was a mother trying to use the child as a pawn against Howard.

Howard was born and raised in the Atlanta area. Cobb County is just north of the city (less than 20 miles).

Howard has multiple children by multiple mothers, although the exact number is a matter of speculation as they rarely come forward.

Report: 11-year-old LeBron James Jr. has scholarship offers from Duke and Kentucky

OAKLAND, CA - JUNE 19:  LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers celebrates with his sons LeBron Jr. and Bryce after defeating the Golden State Warriors 93-89 in Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals at ORACLE Arena on June 19, 2016 in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
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Ohio State coach Thad Matta has competition.

More college teams pursuing him than just the Buckeyes are pursuing 11-year-old LeBron James Jr., whose talent is evident.

Dave McMenamin and Brian Windhorst of ESPN:

he already has standing scholarship offers from both Duke and Kentucky, according to a source

These aren’t real scholarship offers. If LeBron Jr. gets hurt or doesn’t pan out, Duke and Kentucky are under no obligation to pay for his college.

These offers are just for show – to develop a rapport with a recruit, to show you believed in him before others (again, though, that’s a sham), to gain publicity (you’re welcome).

But in this case, if you think you’re currying favor with his famous father, think again.

Report: After Nicolas Batum, prioritize re-signing Marvin Williams

MIAMI, FL - APRIL 27:Marvin Williams #2 of the Charlotte Hornets reacts to a three pointer  during Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals of the 2016 NBA Playoffs against the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena on April 27, 2016 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
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Re-signing Nicolas Batum is the Hornets’ top offseason objective.

After him, how does Charlotte prioritize all its other key free agents: Marvin Williams, Courtney Lee, Jeremy Lin and Al Jefferson?

Chris Broussard of ESPN:

The Charlotte Hornets would like to re-sign free agent Jeremy Lin but are fearful of losing the point guard, according to league sources.

The Hornets’ top priority is bringing back Nicolas Batum, their free-agent swingman who had a breakout season, and they also want to re-sign Marvin Williams, who is a strong presence in the locker room, sources said.

The Hornets have Williams’ Early Bird rights, meaning they can exceed the cap to re-sign him on a deal starting up to $12.25 million (175% of his previous salary). I don’t think that’ll be enough. They’ll likely need to use cap space to re-sign him.

If the Hornets keep Lee’s relatively low cap hold on the books (then use his Bird Rights to exceed the cap to re-sign him), they’d have less than $10 million to spend on Williams, Lin and Jefferson (pretty much an afterthought in this discussion). I doubt that’s enough for Williams or Lin.

So, renouncing Lee makes sense, especially since Charlotte just traded for another shooting guard, Marco Belinelli. Renouncing Lee would give the Hornets nearly $20 million to re-sign Williams or Lin – and that might be enough.

Starting power forwards are more important than backup point guards, so prioritizing Williams is logical. In the same vein, Lin might take a slightly lower offer to start elsewhere rather than return to back up Kemba Walker. It’s far more difficult to see Williams walking if Charlotte makes his best financial offer.

All this assumes Batum re-signs. If he doesn’t, that’d open room for at least two of Williams, Lin and Lee to return.

But as is, the Hornets are trying to navigate a difficult maze.

Kings’ reported top two targets in free agency: Ryan Anderson and Courtney Lee

Charlotte Hornets guard Courtney Lee celebrates after he hit a three-point shot to put the Hornets ahead of the Miami Heat during final seconds of the second half in Game 5 of an NBA basketball playoffs first-round series, Wednesday, April 27, 2016, in Miami. The Hornets defeated the Heat 90-88. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
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The Kings have been rumored to want Ryan Anderson in free agency.

But after leaving the draft with Georgios Papagiannis and Skal Labissiere – to go with DeMarcus Cousins, Willie Cauley-Stein and Kosta Koufos already under contract – Sacramento general manager Vlade Divac declared:

we are set with the big guys, so now we’re going to go with the small guys

Maybe Anderson, a stretch four, qualifies. He’s smaller than the bigs already on the roster, but it’ll tough to fit everyone in the rotation without a trade.

So, what about truly small guys – like Courtney Lee?

James Ham of CSN California:

We’ve already talked about the biggest target, which is Ryan Anderson. They have a second target, which we’ve talked about a little bit, but I don’t think we’ve fully confirmed to people. Look, the Kings, from what I know, are targeting Courtney Lee. They love Courtney Lee.

I wouldn’t be surprised if the Kings shifted focus from Anderson since the draft.

Lee would be a good fit in Sacramento. He’d start at shooting guard, contributing on both ends of the floor, while Malachi Richardson and Ben McLemore (if he’s still around) develop.

But as much as the Kings need help at shooting guard, point guard should be a bigger priority.

Rajon Rondo might cost more than they’re willing to spend. Darren Collison is facing domestic-violence charges. Seth Curry will be a restricted free agent.

At least there are players signed – however unready to contribute immediately – at shooting guard.

On the bright side, Lee might be attainable with the Hornets trying to juggle all their free agents. Trading for Marco Belinelli signals that they don’t expect Lee back.

James Harden crosses over a kid without using a ball, dunks (video)

HOUSTON, TX - MARCH 18:  James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets walks across the court during their game against the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Toyota Center on March 18, 2016 in Houston, Texas.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
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James Harden is tired of being the butt of your defensive jokes.

He decided it’s someone else’s turn.

@easymoneysniper isn't the only one schooling kids at his camp. @jharden13 with no mercy @procamps

A video posted by sæyæ productions (@saeyae) on