Bailey of the Los Angeles Kings, specifically, during yesterday’s shootaround before the Lakers-Pacers game. By Howard’s own admission, the guy inside the costume could barely see the basket. Not to mention the bulky lion costume obstructing him.
Via Dave McMenamin:
“Bailey, the Kings’ mascot showed up at Lakers’ shootaround Tuesday along with the M.L.S. Cup to film some segments with the Lakers players interacting with the mascot of the championship Kings and the trophy of the championship L.A. Galaxy soccer team.
After shootaround was over, Bailey challenged Dwight Howard to a free throw shooting contest on a side court and beat him. Dwight said it didn’t count unless it was on the main court. So Bailey beat him at free throws on the main court. Then Dwight moved the contest out to the NBA 3-point line. They shot 3s from the corner and Bailey, a man standing about 5-10 wearing a lion costume, beat Howard, a man standing 6-9 and wearing his basketball practice uniform and sneakers as the first person to make five 3s. “
There’s also brief video (via Mike Trudell) showing that the contest did in fact take place, though it only shows both Bailey and Howard making a free throw each. Which should be surprising, since both a 5-10 dude in a lion costume and Dwight Howard, who’s shooting 48% from the charity stripe on the season, connected on consecutive shots. And the three-point loss shouldn’t shock anyone either, because Howard is 1-33 in his NBA career from distance.
Dwight tried to brush off the loss as a moment of charity, letting Bailey win because the Kings are winners. A win for the Kings, then later on that night a win for the Lakers. And Pau Gasol assured the reporter chiding Howard that his free throw shooting would round into shape by tipoff, but that loss and 3-12 from the line say otherwise.