Dwight Howard plays along with fan taunts

INDIANAPOLIS — As he sat on the bench, Dwight Howard consistently heard a shrieking voice directed toward him.

“You can’t stay out of foul trouble!”

“You’re the best actor in L.A.!”

You don’t know how to hit free throws!”

“How do you still like playing with Kobe?”

Howard heard all the insults. He smiled. He laughed. And he talked back in a playful manner.

“They do that every game,” Howard said following the Lakers’ 99-93 victory Friday over the Indiana Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. “I was just having fun with it.”

But with the Lakers’ beat writers having a seat directly behind the basket, it marked a rare instant where we saw the interactions first hand.

As the Lakers made a double-digit run in the second quarter, Howard stood up and wiped his towel near his rear end. In the Lakers’ win Monday over the Orlando Magic, he met the same contentious jeers with equal enthusiasm. Howard laughed at a fan’s shirt that compared him to human feces. He shrugged off plenty of fan jeers.

“You can’t win without Kobe Bryant!,” yelled one fan.

“Duh!?, Howard said with a smile.

“I love interacting,” Howard said. “It gets me going and I have fun with it. They’re going to talk and say what they want to say. Their job is to help their team win. I enjoy it.”

And regardless of the visiting venue, Howard says this happens during every road game.

“It’s always like, ‘You suck. You can’t make a free throw.’ It’s stuff we’re always going to hear. It’s fun to me.”


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Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter. E-mail him at mark.medina@dailynews.com

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