AUSTIN, TX — Josh Howard has had the kind of career you don’t often see in the NBA’s Development League.
He’s been an All-Star, was the second best player on a Finals team and, of course, played some intense playoff ball against the San Antonio Spurs.
After eight years with the Mavericks and through brief stints with the Wizards, Jazz and Timberwolves, Howard suffered two ACL injuries in less than three years.
Forced to rehab on his own, Howard is more determined than ever to prove he isn’t done yet. At 33 years old, he’s excited for the opportunity.
“I’m proving to myself that I can come back from another injury and getting the opportunity to play in the NBA to further my career is the thing I’m really enjoying. It’s going to be my eleventh year, and I’m right back in it like it’s my first,” said Howard.
The Spurs waived Howard a day after signing him, then invited him to the Austin Toros training camp. Howard knows San Antonio believes in him and is grateful that he gets to stay in a Texas.
“It speaks a lot, what they think about me and what I think about them for them to continue to give me the opportunity; the last two years they actually wanted me to come down and play for them and unfortunately I didn’t take that chance but for them to still consider me one of the top players out there, and I still know they’re one of the top organizations, and to get this opportunity, it’s been a great experience for me,” Howard said.
“Being at the Mavericks organization for the last ten years up in Dallas and to get this opportunity to live in Austin as well, its another great experience to enjoy Texas.”
On whether he would like to eventually retire with the Mavs, Howard wouldn’t speculate.
“I just hope to get back to the NBA, no matter what team it is. My work ethic, my leadership, the things that I do out on the court and off the court I hope will get me back in the NBA.”
Howard clearly knows what it takes to be an NBA player and has the ability to be one. The only question is his health. Can his body make it through an entire season without breaking down?
Howard will look to answer that test with game one of the season on November 22 on the road against the Santa Cruz Warriors.