ORLANDO, FL—Since leaping over Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard to claim his second NBA dunk title Saturday, 5-foot-9 New York Knicks guard Nate Robinson has apparently dedicated himself to the sole task of jumping over Howard as the 7-footer goes about his daily life.
According to Howard, Robinson bounded over him roughly two dozen times on Tuesday alone, most notably while the All-Star center was putting gas in his car, as he was standing in the checkout line at the grocery store, immediately after he woke up in the morning, two minutes later when he was taking a shower, and right afterward as he began to shave.
"I can't do anything without that guy jumping over me," said Howard, who glanced over his shoulder every few seconds during his press conference Wednesday. "He's everywhere. When I took my mom to her doctor's appointment last Monday, at church communion, and every time I get off my couch to put in a new DVD. And I watch a lot of DVDs."
"I don't know where he's coming from or how he's getting into my house, but I—" Howard added before he was interrupted by a pair of green shoes and shorts sailing over his head. "Oh, for Christ's sake."
Following the leap, Robinson recreated his post-dunk celebration, performing a dance step with his right foot while making an odd gliding/flying motion with his arms as Howard watched.
"I don't quite get this," Howard said.
Howard admitted that he had played along when Robinson first started bounding over him in a non-dunk-competition setting, saying that he thought the spectacle was good media fodder for All-Star weekend and that he believed it to be temporary. But that all changed Monday when Howard was trying on pants in the dressing room of an Armani Exchange in downtown Orlando. As Robinson flew overhead, Howard realized the leaping would continue indefinitely, even when there was no one around to notice or record the event, and even though Robinson does not live in Orlando.
"It was eerie," Howard said. "We locked eyes after the jump, and Nate just ran off without saying anything. Then he must have exited the store and reentered through the back, because the next thing I knew he was jumping over me again while I looked at belts."
Though the locations and times of Robinson's flights over Howard vary, Howard said he has learned that if he finds himself in a situation in which he is standing up and leaning somewhat forward, there is a good chance Robinson will come from behind and jump over his head, as was the case Monday afternoon at Pirate's Cove Adventure miniature golf course.
"Today I thought it was finally over because Nate hadn't jumped over me once—not at the cleaners, the skate park, the gym, anywhere," Howard said. "Then I sat down to a romantic dinner with my girlfriend and as soon as I stood up to light the candles, he comes flying in, breaks the dishware, and gets baked ziti all over the carpet."
"It's upsetting," Howard continued. "But you know what angers me most? It's that he really isn't jumping over me. His crotch is barely clearing the top of my head, and he is putting his left arm on my back for an extra boost. You people are seeing that, right? You're seeing that I need to lean down so he doesn't bang his waist into the back of my head and fall to the ground and embarrass himself in front of everybody? You saw that I dunked on a fucking 12-foot hoop, right?"
According to Howard, Robinson has only hurt himself once. On Wednesday, as the Magic center was unlocking his front door, the Knicks guard apparently flew headfirst into the stained-glass window in the transom above Howard's doorway.
"Where is he?" a concussed Robinson said from the hospital's emergency room. "I got Superman's kryptonite right here."
Reports indicate that Howard is currently standing up against the safety bar at the edge of Niagara Falls.