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Dr.Zoidberg
07-31-2010, 07:45 AM
Here the article from NBA.com by Art Garcia:Howard excited about new day for career, Wizards

Posted Jul 30 2010 6:01PM

DALLAS -- The Heat called and Josh Howard listened. So did the Celtics, Bulls, Spurs, Cavaliers, Kings and Clippers. A lot of teams were interested in the former All-Star.

They just weren't interested in spending a lot of money.

Most were offering the veteran's minimum for one year, about $1.3 million. Howard wasn't insulted, which says something since he's carried a chip on his shoulder throughout his career. Coming off a knee injury, Howard understood the market just wasn't there despite the numbers he's put up throughout a seven-year career.

"We expected that," Howard said during a break from the basketball camp he continues to sponsor for kids in Dallas. "It's what you expect. It's a business.

"I kept my options open, but I always stayed loyal to Washington. They gave me the opportunity to get out of Dallas and actually play free, which I took and I appreciate them for that. I had to stay loyal to them. They wanted me to play ball for them and I feel that's probably the best place for me to be at."

Howard, 30, agreed to return to the Wizard for one year and $3 million. Incentives can push it to $4 million. The contract hasn't been signed yet, but he doesn't expect any snags as the deal gets finalized. Washington gets Howard back at a discounted rate after declining to exercise his option for this season at $11.8 million.

The Wizards were never expected to pick up the option after acquiring Howard in a seven-player deal on Feb. 13. Howard's bargaining power for this summer took a big hit when he tore a ligament in his left knee only nine days later, ending his season after playing just four games for Washington.

Heading into free agency with health concerns was tough enough. It didn't help that Howard's reputation had also taken several hits during his last few years in Dallas.

"My injury came at an unfortunate time, but I did enough to let people know that I still have game," he said. "I'm still going to be out there working hard and playing hard to get back out there for Washington."

It's a new day in Washington. Buoyed by the arrival of No. 1 pick John Wall, Wizards fans have reason to feel optimistic after a season torpedoed by Gilbert Arenas. Howard said the feeling in Washington reminds him of his early days in Dallas when the Mavericks were establishing themselves as a perennial playoff contender.

"The feeling we have there and the moves we've made kind of reminds me of my first three years in Dallas when we made a big run," he said. "We had young energy, the city was buzzing and it feels just like that in D.C. All I can do is expect great things."

Howard added that Arenas is back on board ready to make amends.

"Gil has also been through a lot, and being able to see him in the summertime and see his work ethic, I know he's coming to play," Howard said. "Chip on his shoulder or not, I know the man is coming to play. I know I have a chip on my shoulder, too. Two guys like that on the court are going to be hard to stop."

It wasn't that long ago that Howard was once one of the league's more versatile small forwards. He averaged at least 18 points for three straight seasons up to 2008-09. He was always considered Dallas' top perimeter defender.

Last season was a mess. Not only was Howard slowed by injuries to his wrist and ankle to start the season, his relationship with Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle never clicked.

"I had a great career here," Howard said. "I did a lot of things for the city of Dallas and my team. I loved it here. It wasn't a job to me. It was something that I wanted to do. I still have love for Dallas. That's what brings a smile to my face.

"No matter what was said about me, people never knew me."

Asked if he felt appreciated by the Mavericks front office, Howard replied: "They should answer that one, but I don't think so. I definitely don't think so. It they did, I would still be here."

Howard didn't do himself any favors with off-court behaviors that undercut the goodwill he built up in Dallas, where he continues to live in the offseason. From his admission to marijuana use in the offseason to comments about the national anthem to throwing a party during the playoffs, much of the damage to Howard's reputation was self-inflicted.

But he's also not the first NBA player with baggage. Right or wrong, talent erases the stigma of most sins, and Howard believes he's closer to being the player that was an All-Star in 2007 than some has-been. The knee injury, he said, is just a hiccup.

"It gave me a new reason to get better," he said. "I actually feel a whole lot better. Getting back in gym has been great. I'm going to be in great shape when my turn comes. I'm looking forward to playing and being the Josh Howard that everybody knows."

Josh Howard was tempted to take his talents to South Beach, joining fellow 2003 first-rounders LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. Several other situations -- Boston, Chicago, San Antonio -- also made sense from a standpoint of competing for a title next season.

Reestablishing his career and getting a chance to play significant minutes, plus a bigger payday, made Washington the only choice in the end. Howard expects to start the season slowly, as he builds up strength and stamina in his knee. Rehab is going well, he said, with another checkup scheduled for this weekend in New York.

Howard said he's been told by Wizards coach Flip Saunders that the opportunity to start is there once he's ready. Even if Howard does get it all back on track, there are no guarantees next summer will be any different. The lockout obviously looms and Howard will be 31.

Still, he believes a multi-year contract is out there, whether it's Washington or somewhere else.
"Hopefully I'll have a big season and have my options open again, and still stay loyal to Washington," Howard said. "That's my plan. I'm going to be around in this league for a long time. I still love the game. I don't see myself quitting. I don't see any reason for me to quit."

Art Garcia has covered the NBA since 1999. You can e-mail him here and follow him on twitter (http://twitter.com/artgarcia_nba).

Link (http://www.nba.com/2010/news/features/art_garcia/07/30/howard.summer/?ls=iref:nbahpt1)

Dr.Zoidberg
07-31-2010, 08:15 AM
Its official...from NBA.com:Wizards re-sign free agent Howard to one-year deal

By David Aldridge, TNT analyst

Posted Jul 28 2010 6:14PM

The Washington Wizards reached agreement Wednesday on a one-year deal with free agent forward Josh Howard, who finished last season with Washington. The deal can pay Howard close to $4 million if he reaches certain incentives, according to his consultant, Derek Lafayette.

The 30-year-old Howard would likely have been in line for a bigger payday this summer -- the Celtics, Bulls and Cavaliers had all expressed varying degrees of interest, according to Lafayette -- but Howard is recovering from an torn ACL suffered just a week after he was part of the trade that sent Caron Butler, Brendan Haywood and DeShawn Stevenson to Dallas. Howard played in four games for the Wizards, averaging 14.5 points, and impressed the Wizards with his hard play and attitude in going from a contender to a rebuilding team.

But the Wizards renounced their rights to Howard in July to facilitate the trade that brought Kirk Hinrich and the rights to first-round pick Kevin Serphin from Chicago. Washington wanted to re-sign Howard, but not at a high price. The Wizards had about $5 million left in cap room after their various offseason moves, including the Hinrich trade, acquiring forward Yi Jianlian from the Nets and signing veteran center Hilton Armstrong.

"A lot of teams were interested, but his heart and soul was in Washington," said Lafayette, who allowed that Howard may have signed elsewhere if there was more money in the rapidly-dwindling free agent market. Howard fell out of favor in Dallas, though owner Mark Cuban denied a report that Howard partied hard after a January game, which caused him to miss a game the following night.

Howard saw a doctor Tuesday and is doing well in his rehabilitation. He's back doing some running and is on schedule to be back on the court by late October, Lafayette said, though the Wizards don't expect Howard to be ready for the start of the regular season. Washington's only other natural small forward is veteran Al Thornton, acquired from the Ciippers at the trade deadline.

Link (http://www.nba.com/2010/news/07/28/wizards.howard/index.html)

Underdog
07-31-2010, 08:25 AM
OMG, Dr Zoidberg sighting!

Dr.Zoidberg
07-31-2010, 09:01 AM
Yeah, I am happy to be back. Try to be more online here again...

GO MAVS!!!

41mvp
07-31-2010, 11:52 AM
yea Wizards this team is for him.

tcat075
07-31-2010, 07:15 PM
yay?

fluid.forty.one
08-03-2010, 09:17 PM
Hopefully he doesn't get John Wall addicted to drugs.

Zki41
08-04-2010, 06:50 PM
"I don't celebrate this [expletive]. I'm black."

- Josh Howard

LonghornDub
08-04-2010, 06:57 PM
It's the damn Mavericks' fault for not allowing Josh to "play free" while he was here. That's certainly the root of the problem.