HOUSTON, May 20 (UPI) -- A basketball player with a $22.3 million salary is afraid to shoot.
Howard, 30, has a choice to opt out of the final year of his contract with the Houston Rockets on July 1.
"I used to shoot 1,000 shots a day," Howard told MacMullan. "I called Kobe (Bryant) when I was still playing in Orlando and asked him what I should do. He's the one who told me to do take 1,000 a day. So I'd practice and practice them but then I'd be so afraid to take them in a game because I was so worried I would miss. I hate messing up. I hate failure. I was just talking to [WNBA star] Tina Thompson the other day about it. I told her about my fear of missing and she said, 'Dwight, you're gonna miss. Everyone does.' But I want to be perfect.''
Howard also discussed his "reduced role" with the Rockets and questioning management about why he was on the team.
"I don't like messing up," Howard told MacMullan. "I didn't want to turn on the TV and see people say, 'Dwight is taking all those outside shots, he's screwing around, he doesn't care, he doesn't want to win.' So that's the war I'll be having in my head. I'm working on it. I have a sports psychologist I used in Houston and I have one in Minnesota. If my spiritual and mental game is right, the physical part will follow.''
Howard ironically shot a career-high 62 percent from the field this season, up from 59 percent in 2015. His 8.5 field goal attempts per game were the fewest he has averaged since his rookie season with the Orlando Magic. Howard's 600 field goal attempts this season were up from 423 last season.
Thank you. I want to send a message to all rocket fans. Thank you for your support this season. Even tho we did not reach our goal this year you guys stuck with us and for that I deeply appreciate you. Redrowdies thank you for being loud and proud at all the home games but also on the road. The support you guys showed us pushed us thru tough times. Again htown thank you. 💯🤘🏾🤘🏾🚀🚀