As part of the NBA Cares initiative, Rockets (for now) center Dwight Howard will travel around the country to warn youth basketball players about the very real dangers of contracting athletically transmitted trade rumors.

“Guys, trade rumors are no joke,” Howard said to a gym filled with rapt middle school basketball hopefuls. “And once they get started, they can follow you around for life. Think about that.”

For the 48th time in his career, Howard has been the subject of trade rumors, as the NBA gossip mill continues to leak dubious information about body language, locker room strife, intra-squad beefs, and potential destinations.

“I made some mistakes when I was younger, like mentioning to a reporter that I enjoyed the sunshine of California the last time I was there,” said Howard, visibly tearing up. “That led to 14 months of speculation, including three Sports Illustrated cover stories.”

If this current speaking tour is successful, the NBA is considering having Howard join up with fellow NBA stars DeAndre Jordan and Andre Drummond to alert teens of the risk of developing a nasty case of the “charity stripe jimmies.”

We can't play sports*, but we can make jokes about them!

*Two of our writers hit a home run** once
**It was in a video game.