Josh Howard’s Problems Must Be Addressed

Special to the Star-Telegram

You can’t fix stupid. Somebody said that the other day, and it sure fits Dallas Mavericks forward Josh Howard’s actions the last few weeks.

The Mavericks can’t trade him now. That’s right. They can’t trade him because they won’t get value for him.

Howard’s play was absolutely horrible in the playoffs against the New Orleans Hornets. He shot just 29 percent from the floor.

Off the court, his actions were almost unforgivable.

The coach asked his players to be focused for the playoffs and cut out the parties. J-Ho decided he needed a birthday bash for himself after Game 4 at a Dallas nightclub.

He should have been ashamed to show up in public. Remember he was el stinko, bricking 3 of 16 shots for a measly six points as the Mavs went down 3-1 in the series.

It was the ultimate disrespect for the head coach and a reason why Avery Johnson is no longer employed by the team. Howard clearly didn’t care what Johnson had to say and wasn’t focused on winning a title.

It was stupid of Howard to go on Michael Irvin’s radio show and proclaim his love for smoking weed in the off-season the day of a playoff game and with his team in an 0-2 series hole. I wondered if he was high to admit to breaking the law, proclaiming “other players use it” as some type of defense, and causing a distraction that was not needed.

Howard’s good name with the Mavericks has taken a beating, and he’s to blame.

He deserved for fans to be upset with him. We know Dirk Nowitzki was sick of Howard’s antics, telling the media after the Mavs were sent on summer vacation:

“Bad timing in the playoffs,” he said. “It’s time to just concentrate about basketball and focus on it… not let any distractions come up.”

Josh Howard isn’t a bad guy. He’s just not a smart one, even if he attended Wake Forest University.

Back in the late ’90s, Washington traded away Chris Webber because he was making dumb off-the-court decisions. He matured while he was with the Kings and rewarded them with some exciting teams while the Wizards went nowhere with good guys Mitch Richmond and Otis Thorpe.

The Mavericks want to avoid that type of personnel mistake, so I don’t see Howard going anywhere. He needs some guidance and probably a drug counselor.

Maybe they can fix stupid.

Newy Scruggs is sports director for NBC 5.

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