UPDATE: Just as we posted about Josh Howard’s partying after a Dallas playoff game loss, ESPN.com’s Marc Stein reported that Avery Johnson has been fired by the Mavericks. Wonder if there will be a going-away party?
Ten days after Dallas Maverick Josh Howard (once again) admitted that he had smoked marijuana in the past, Jeff Caplan of the FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM reports that “A late-night party to celebrate Josh Howard’s 28th birthday after Sunday’s Game 4 loss turned Dallas Mavericks coach Avery Johnson livid and led him to cancel Monday’s practice, two sources confirmed.
“Johnson, who stressed no partying during the series, was informed before Monday’s scheduled practice that Howard handed out fliers to teammates in the locker room before Game 4, inviting them to his party at a Dallas nightclub.”
Not coincidentally, Howard was a flop in the playoff series loss to the New Orleans Hornets, shooting 29% from the field and getting benched in the fourth quarter of the series-ending loss.
It’s pretty damn easy to jump on Howard and blame him for the Mavericks loss. But anyone who follows the NBA closely knows full well that Howard isn’t the only one smoking weed. And that prolific use of the herb has no doubt had a profound impact on game results in the past.
Howard’s problem is that he decided to tell the truth. And then confirm those habits right before the Mavericks suffered yet another season-ending playoff series defeat.
We wouldn’t be surprised if the “party” story was planted by one of the Mavs front office-types, to mitigate the post-series criticism of the coaching staff and player personnel department.