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He also says he should've waited longer to return from back surgery, which he had in April 2012, instead of playing on opening night that season. "There were times where I got hit and it kind of put my body in shock," he says.
Despite the mistakes, what rankles Howard the most is the perception that he takes the game lightly."People might see me smile and say, 'He's not taking this seriously,' but sometimes that's my only escape from what's going on," he says.
Howard mentions that he's still working through relationships with his family members.
He admits that he hasn't been the most wholesome father, having four children—two sons and two daughters, ages seven, four, four and one—with several different women.
Howard, who does voice impressions of everyone from friends to Stan Van Gundy and Charles Barkley, is an animated storyteller.
He asks the kids questions related to the book to keep them engaged, and compliments them with "Good job!
For me, it's just a new life."Howard reveals that he's had to cut ties with a couple of cousins and close friends because they got caught up in the lifestyle and handled some of his money poorly. One friend who remains from middle school, James Kirkland, has been serving as Howard's personal assistant for the past several years.
"He helped me get my college degree, so even after he's retired, I can still have something to fall back on," Kirkland says.
Earlier in the evening, Howard arrives at Blue Ridge Elementary to surprise the group of students.He sucks.' I don't want them to have to feel that same kind of hate that I have received.But I spend as much time as I can with them, and I truly love and care for them."Howard has also reassessed his NBA relationships, and admits that during his time in Orlando he treated his teammates unfairly and didn't deal with reporters appropriately."At the time, I was super upset about the team and I wanted to get players that I felt could help us win," he says."I was just upset with how everything was transpiring in our society, just that hate for a group of people just kept growing—whether it was cops or whites hating blacks.I'm like, 'Man, I'm this person that's always trying to bring people closer together, so why not do something to help other people?