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Dwight Howard played a mean prank on his mom about his free agency decision

Dwight Howard never tires of reminding the world that he's a "fun" guy. The irony is that it's just this type of incessant, transparent need to be liked and thought of as fun that has turned folks off from him over the years. People can sense when things like that are contrived or coming from a place of neediness or insecurity.

Howard, however, has always insisted that he's just being himself. The only problem is that the persona he keeps putting forward doesn't have the ring of authenticity. See those alligator tears at his introductory press conference with the Hawks as a case in point. Speaking of tears, Howard recently admitting to making his mother cry this summer by playing a joke on her about his free agency decision. Via James Herbert of CBS Sports:

"I played a prank on my mom," Howard said on the Doug Gottlieb Show on CBS Sports Radio on Monday. "I wanted to see her reaction, so I told her, I said, 'Mom, I just got this big contract, $150 million.' And she was like, 'Oh my God, from who?' I said, 'Utah Jazz,' and she started crying. And I said, 'Mom, sorry, I was just joking, I'm coming home to Atlanta.' And then she was super happy and my family was super excited."

We all know Howard loves a good prank, whether that entails him mercilessly crop-dusting his teammates during practice or punching them in the crotch unsuspectingly while they're sitting on the bench minding their own business. The fact that he made his mom break down in tears is just a perfect example of how his "jokes" often have the exact opposite effect from what he intended.

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