Dwight Howard being investigated

Police have re-opened a child abuse investigation concerning Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard, according to multiple media reports.

The case involves an incident from last summer in which Howard admitted to authorities that he had hit his child with a belt. He told police that he was disciplined in such a manner growing up and didn't realize it was wrong.

Police in Florida looked into the incident in the fall but did not proceed with the investigation because of a lack of evidence.

Howard declined to discuss the case after the Rockets' shootaround in advance of Wednesday night's game against the Lakers. A Rockets media relations representative cut off a question about the case, stating that Howard would only take basketball questions.

New information reportedly emerged in the past 48 hours that caused Cobb County (Ga.) police to re-open the case, though officials did not release any details.

Howard's attorney, David Oscar Markus, issued the following statement:

"The Florida Department of Children and Families thoroughly examined all of the evidence and determined that the claims of child abuse were not substantiated. The case was closed in September.

"Royce Reed [the child's mother] is now shopping her baseless allegations to authorities in Georgia after the Florida DCF case was closed. Even though the allegations have already been found to have no merit, when a complaint about the welfare of a child is made to law enforcement, an investigation is commenced. We are confident the Georgia authorities will reach the same conclusion as the Florida authorities. The truth is on our side.

"It is appalling to see a mother use her son as a pawn against his father in attempt to extract money, which is what is happening in this case. While Royce Reed continues on her aimless quest with the media, Dwight Howard will continue to act in the best interest of his children and do whatever is necessary to protect them."

NBA vice president of communications Mike Bass told ESPN.com on Tuesday: "We are aware of the allegations concerning Dwight Howard and are in the process of independently gathering the facts."

Howard has not been arrested or charged with a crime.

Information from ESPN's Tim MacMahon is included in this report.