Josh Howard

Timberwolves release Josh Howard due to knee injury


Oh, the basketball gods can be cruel with their irony.

Minnesota sighed Josh Howard in mid-November because they were shorthanded with injuries (Kevin Love’s hand, Ricky Rubio’s knee, Chase Budinger’s knee, Brandon Roy’s knees, J.J. Barea’s foot, and Nikola Pekovic’s ankle.

But just as they started to get those guys back, Howard suffered a torn right ACL a win over the Hornets last Friday night.

So Thursday, the Timberwolves waived Howard due to his injury.

Howard got into 11 games for the Timberwolves, played 18.8 minutes a night and gave them 6.7 points a game on 40 percent shooting. He was the same player he has been the past couple years, which is not at all like the 2009 and before Howard.

With the players the Timberwolves are getting back healthy, they will not miss him much on the court.

James Harden: “I am the best player in the league. I believe that.”

James Harden, Stephen Curry
1 Comment

James Harden was the MVP last season — if you ask his fellow NBA players.

The traditional award (based on a media vote) went to Stephen Curry (in the closest vote in four years), and that was the right call (in my mind). But from the time it happened Harden did not buy it. And he still doesn’t buy it. In the least — and he’s using that as fuel for this season. That’s what he told Fran Blinebury over at

“I am the best player in the league. I believe that,” he said. “I thought I was last year, too.”

Well, it’s a more realistic claim than Paul George’s.

“But that award means most valuable to your team. We finished second in the West, which nobody thought we were going to do at the beginning of the year even when everybody was healthy. We were near the top in having the most injuries. We won our division in a division where every single team made the playoffs.

“There’s so many factors. I led the league in total points scored, minutes played. Like I said, I’m not taking anything away from Steph, but I felt I deserved the Most Valuable Player. That stays with me.”

That’s very Kobe Bryant of you to turn that into fuel. Defining the MVP Award is an annual discussion that nobody agrees on.

I could get into how Harden was the old-school, traditional stats MVP, how that ignores how Steve Kerr used Curry, and how that opened up the Warriors’ offense to championship levels. Curry put up numbers, but he was also the distraction, the bright star that Kerr used to open up looks for Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and others. Curry’s strength was not just what he did with the ball in his hands, but his gravity to draw defenders even when he didn’t. Did the Warriors stay healthier than the Rockets? No doubt. Should Curry be penalized for that?

It’s simple for Harden — if he can put up those numbers again, if he can be the fulcrum of a top offense, he will be in the discussion for MVP again. And, if he can lead the Rockets beyond the conference finals, nobody will talk about that MVP snub anyway.