Josh Howard, at age 34 and after multiple ACL surgeries, is not giving up on the dream.
The former NBA All-Star with 10 years of service (he was in the LeBron James/Carmelo Anthony draft class) played 24 games for the Austin Toros last season in the D-League, looking to impress some NBA team into giving the veteran a shot. He scored 14.7 points per game but needed 13.3 shots a game to get there, and he struggled from three. He was decent, but there were no calls to come up to the show.
So now he’s headed to Las Vegas as part of the Pelican’s Summer League team trying to get back into the league. Howard spoke with Jimmy Smith of the Times-Picayune about the chance and how bad he wants it after lat season.
“To fight through all that adversity: the travel was rough, playing in different arenas, that whole avenue of being in the NBA for 10 years and having to go down to the D-League. . . .
“Riding those AAU vans was a humbling experience,” Howard said. “That right there was a motivation in itself. I just took it and ran with it. I couldn’t finish the season because I had a sports hernia, but that was like the last month. I played pretty much every day.”
He’s chosen wisely. The Pelicans don’t have a lot of money to spend and could use help off the bench at the three. Howard fits that mold… if he can still play at an NBA level. And stay healthy.
He’s got competition, the Pelican’s Summer League team has about six guys who are threes on it. They are trying to get a good look at their options.
If it’s not in the Big Easy, Howard isn’t done playing — he loves the game and wants to keep on ballin’.
“I plan on making a comeback. That’s my motivation,” Howard said. “Ultimately, it’s up to the GMs and the coaches to put me on the team. As far as me being prepared and being ready, I put myself in a position to be like that. Whatever happens. Pelicans, D-League, overseas. Whatever happens, just to have the opportunity to play the game that I love. You can’t beat that.”
Got to love that attitude.