So today on the Michael Irvin radio show, Josh Howard of the Dallas Mavericks admitted to smoking marijuana quite frequently during the offseason. He made it clear though that he does not partake in any sort of drug-related activities during the season. Either way, I have a major problem with this...
As a basketball enthusiast I am actually quite disgusted with Howard's admittance. The NBA is a league that has suffered major image problems. From Rasheed Wallace and Damon Stoudamire's use of weed to the Malace and the Palace, Commissioner David Stern has been doing his absolute best to try and fix how his league was perceived. He brought all along the dress code which eliminated basically the Iverson look of jewlery, baggy jeans, throwback jersey, and fitted cap. He was fearful that African Americans were being labeled as thugs by the white corporate officials who either own the team or share some sort of piece of a franchise. Not only them but the NBA did not want the younger generation to see how these guys were acting. I agree with all of Stern's moves.
So now comes the year of 2008. The Year of the Celtics and of the Western Conference. You got all this amazing young talent such as Lebron, Chris Paul, Dwight Howard, Deron Williams. You have Kobe Bryant encompassing a complete role reversal as he has taken the Lakers to the best record in the West. All real negative outside stories were absent from the NBA. Pacman Jones alone was making the NBA look like the Modern Day Saints. But if your David Stern today, the news out of Josh Howard's mouth is something you definitely did not want to hear, especially in the midst of what has been a fantastic first round.
Basically my only question is why? Why is Josh Howard coming out with this information when first, his team is down 2-0 to the Hornets and can very well be swept. Why create this distraction? This is part of what Howard had to say:
". . . What I was stating was just [in response to] a random question he asked me about the marijuana use. I just let him know that most of the players in the league use marijuana and I have and do partake in smoking weed in the offseason sometimes and that's my personal choice and my personal opinion. But I don't think that's stopping me from doing my job."
Howard has now created a bubble surrounding the NBA and everyone is going to want to know who "most of the players" are. First of all, they are breaking the law and secondly, there could be some sort of repercussions through the league or the franchise itself. Howard is once again putting the image of the league on thin ice because most of the league is black and there is an unfortunate inconceivable stereotype in society about blacks and drug use. It will be very interesting to see how this will play out and the type of media coverage it does receive.
(Off the Glass - only on www.mywcwp.com)
P.S. Yesterday I participated in Mike T's 1-on-1 basketball tournament and if you were listening in to the Sportswire you may have heard the calling of myself vs. Max Caster. Nonetheless, I came out victorious 11-4 in a classic beatdown!