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The never-ending Josh Howard 'hangover' story

Although Josh Howard has denied reports that excessive partying contributed to him missing a game against the Wizards on Jan. 20 -- thus prompting his trade to the team less than a month later -- the story lives on.

Howard was scratched from the game -- a 93-92 Wizards loss in which the guy he was traded for (Caron Butler) had his game-winning attempt blocked by Shawn Marion -- with what the team claimed at the time was a "stomach illness."

A person who witnessed Howard at Verizon Center before the game told me that Howard was connected to an IV. The same person brought Howard a blanket because he was shivering. Howard told the person that his illness was caused by eating some "bad chicken."

On Monday, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban was on Dan Patrick's radio Show when Patrick brought up the rumors about Howard's reported hangover. Cuban said that Howard looked ill but thought he could've done more to play in the game.

"He sat out a game, but I talked to him before the game and he didn't look hung over to me. He certainly wasn't feeling well," Cuban said. "I thought I had a good relationship with Josh, so I didn't think he was hung over. But he certainly wasn't feeling well. I was like, 'How you feeling? What's going on? And we just chatted about it. [Howard said] that he didn't feel well. He wasn't the first player that sat out because he wasn't feeling well."

While he didn't dispute that Howard was sick -- "He would've had to have been a great actor," Cuban said -- Cuban added that he was disappointed that he missed the game. "Was I upset a little bit that he didn't get in a little earlier and get IVs or whatever to try to get through? Well yeah, because a lot of guys come to work not feeling well," he said. "I wasn't mad at him. I just wish he would've taken more precautions."

Asked a general question about partying and the nightlife, Cuban told Patrick, "You can't be out partying the night before a game. Period. End of story. Now if we got a day off and you're getting trashed and you can deal with it [and] It takes you less than a day to recover -- which hopefully you can because you're a 20-something -- then fine. Go have fun. You're in LA, you're in Miami, whatever we have a night off before the next game, tear it up, I don't care. But on the flip side, you've got to be ready to play. That's your responsibility to me. You've got to be ready to practice, that's your responsibility to me, your teammates and the fans."

Patrick then asked Cuban about how often players wake up with hangovers on game days. "Let's put it this way: it happens, typically, once for a player and he finds himself playing for another team," Cuban said. "It wasn't the case behind Josh Howard. We had it happen with two other players the season before and one of those guys was put out to pasture and another guy was traded."

Howard has said that he won't respond to a lie, but in Toronto, he was asked if he was hurt that a story like this would come out a month later -- and after he was traded elsewhere.

"It makes me wonder. It makes me wonder, what was all of the hard work for? But it was for myself at the end of the day," Howard said. "It's kind of sad, hearing all of the lies coming out of there. Especially when I'm gone. Why would you want to talk about a guy who did so much for your organization and he's gone?"

Asked if he felt the situation would've been handled differently if he was having a better season in Dallas, Howard said, "They didn't really give me ... I don't want to talk about that. I only said it because they tried to fire off. ... I think that's where the other rumors came from because I basically told the truth."

He added, "I loved what I did in Dallas, but it's time to move on."

By Michael Lee  |  February 22, 2010; 2:46 PM ET
 
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Comments

1st

Posted by: Gooddad | February 22, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Otherwise BIG DEAL. He's still not worth $11 million...

Posted by: Gooddad | February 22, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Cuban never said he had a hangover. End of story.

Posted by: gimmedat | February 22, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

It is normal to feel cold (shivering) while receiving IV. Even if the fluid that was injected is stored at room temperature, it will still be lower than your body temperature. So it is a common scene for people who receiving IV to ask for blanket, it is by no means an indication of how sick the person is.

Posted by: sagaliba | February 22, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

You can redeem yourself!! How about signing for 3 years and $15 mil?

Posted by: thinker11 | February 22, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

You can't be at your best if you're doing a lot of heavy partying during the season, or even the offseason. But I'm not seeing any evidence that Howard was, or is, getting trashed all the time. I say you cut the guy a break and assume the best until proven otherwise. Fresh start. You watch it, but the guy has got to know these next 30 games mean a lot in terms of his career.

Posted by: jweber1 | February 22, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

a couple of things, most athletes are in such good shape that the impact of alcohol really slows their body and they notice the recovery period. So most athletes don't like drinking! That's why weed is so preferred in the NBA.

Posted by: oknow1 | February 22, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Look who cares? A guy misses just 1 of 82 NBA games, I don't care if he was hung over. Unless it's a trend, it's nothing to worry about.

Posted by: tundey | February 22, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Question for Mike Lee (unrelated to story)-

In ESPN's Insider Rumor's section it says, buried in another story, that the Wiz bought out Mike James last week. I never saw WashPost report on it. Can you provide details / etc? Does this mean the Wiz will sign another G to back-up Boykins and Foye for the remainder of the season?

Posted by: ThatGuy2 | February 22, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Otherwise BIG DEAL. He's still not worth $11 million...

Posted by: Gooddad
_____________________________

I beg to differ... he is worth 11 Mil next year if he agrees to an extention in the neighborhood or 4 years 30-35 mil

Posted by: SkinzNWiz | February 22, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

He's worth $11 mill next year if he plays up to or near his all-star form the rest of this season, allowing the Wizards to exercise his option and trade him and his $11 mill expiring contract either over the summer or at the deadline next season for some usable future assets (i.e., young players, picks).

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 22, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

LeBron: "Funny thing, Antawn said, he hadn't had an open look in about four years."

Pro Basketball Talk, transcribing a comment LeBron James made to ABC's Michelle Tafoya.
------------------------------

It really rubs me the wrong way when I hear or read some the comments from AJ and CB as it relates to their time here.

How can the both of them point to all the losing over the last couple, three years along with poor playoff performances and not take responsibility given their status as:
Captains
Top Salary Earners
Veterans
Minutes Played per Game
and The fact that neither had to worry about getting benched for uninspiring/selfish play.

Just how delusional were Jamison and Butler?


From David Aldridge @ NBA.com

After Washington traded little-used forward Dominic McGuire to Sacramento Thursday, the Wizards fell under the $69.9 million luxury tax threshhold, and no longer are looking at dollar for dollar payments for being over. The Wizards were initially looking to their expected buyout with Ilgauskas, acquired in the Antawn Jamison trade, to provide the savings to get them under the tax. Now, that's not needed. It doesn't mean Washington doesn't want or expect a buyout to occur, only that the pressure to get it done is no longer on Washington, but on Rudoy and Ilgauskas.
The Wizards, someone in the know says, are "open" to Ilgauskas' thoughts, but the buyout, the someone says, is not going to be cheap. While sympathetic, the Wiz can now hold out for more savings.
Adding to Washington's leverage is time. If Ilgauskas is still on Washington's roster a week from today, March 1, he would not be able to be on anyone else's roster for the postseason. So he may have to leave some major bucks -- maybe the trade kicker that is, as of now, around $591,000 (the prorated amount of the 15 percent trade kicker Ilgauskas is due by Washington after being dealt) -- on the table in order to be free by next week. (Ilgauskas doesn't have to be signed by Cleveland by next week; only not on someone else's roster.)

Posted by: bozomoeman | February 22, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

1hr before tip and no preview?? Come WPost, you're better than that arent you? Or were you?

At least we have Tracy Hamilton's column on ice dancing costumes to enjoy.

Posted by: divi3 | February 22, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

It really is quite amazing that the Wizzies have gotten themselves in good financial shape re the lux tax and cap space, and still managed to put an interesting, scrappy team on the floor for the rest of this season.... Of course there is still Gilbert (whom I have taken to calling Banquo's ghost) to deal with...

Ernie Grunfeld may have made his share of mistakes to get the team to the brink of disaster, but he should also get a bit of credit for some pretty decent trade deadline brinksmanship

Posted by: khrabb | February 22, 2010 6:12 PM | Report abuse

Wizards need to re-sign Howard and get Arenas back to play with him next year. I know haters are going to come out and say their word...but Arenas is still a beast capable of scoring and assisting. Watch how defenders guard Boykins or Foye..straight no respect for their offensive game..Arenas on the other hand has teams primarily focusing on him. Numbers dont lie. Howard and the potential signing of a free agent big man can make up for his risky defense. I believe Mike Miller has to be re signed too. With Miller lurking the perimiter, Howards nice mid range and driving abilitiy, Blatches improvement and Arenas running the offense can be dangerous.
2010-2011 Starting lineup should be..
PG Arenas
SG Miller
SF Howard
PF Blatche or possible free agent acquisition
C Blatche or possible free agent acquisition.
Thornton, Mcgee, and Young off the bench.

What do y'all think?

Damm..I wrote more here than I have all semester :(

Posted by: crisco00786 | February 22, 2010 6:13 PM | Report abuse

It really is quite amazing that the Wizzies have gotten themselves in good financial shape re the lux tax and cap space, and still managed to put an interesting, scrappy team on the floor for the rest of this season.... Of course there is still Gilbert (whom I have taken to calling Banquo's ghost) to deal with...

Ernie Grunfeld may have made his share of mistakes to get the team to the brink of disaster, but he should also get a bit of credit for some pretty decent trade deadline brinksmanship

Posted by: khrabb | February 22, 2010 6:12 PM |

Correct khrabb, Ernie Grunfeld is the best not.
We ended up having a fire sale and we have Grunfeld to thank. Get over it.
and Blatche is a gangsta, just wait and see.

Posted by: horace1 | February 22, 2010 7:17 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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