Spent my Saturday afternoon down in DeSoto at the first annual Josh Howard Foundation celebrity charity softball game.
I wish I could report that Josh is sorry for his recent arrest in North Carolina for drag racing. I wish I could report that Josh regrets his late-season admission that he smokes pot. And I wish I could report that Josh is atwitter about the upcoming basketball season, ready to redeem himself after a horrible post All-Star break that ended in his total flameout against the Hornets in the playoffs.
But, sorry, I can’t report any of that. Because the truth is – in his first public comments since the July 31 arrest – Josh was merely pissed at the media.
Though myself and The Ticket’s Donovan Lewis were at the ready, we get to blame CW33 reporter Sandra Hernandez for lighting Josh’s fuse. It’s not like she went all Becky Oliver or even Brett Shipp on Howard. She did, however, ask this question:
“With the recent events you’ve been involved in, do you still consider yourself a good role model for kids?”
Not fair to call it an incident. So far the video hasn’t made it past CW33’s newscast. But no doubt Josh became agitated, even physically and emotionally aroused.
“I don’t know nothing about what you just said,” Howard snapped as he initially walked away from Hernandez and her cameraman, only to return seconds later. “That don’t make sense for you to … that’s the last thing you should axe me. That’s not what it’s about out here. It’s about giving back to the community. That’s the only thing it’s about. Nobody don’t have time for that, man. Like, for real.”
Howard, of course, has a point. With his foundation's second charity event in the area this summer, he was again signing autographs and raising money for children. But he also missed a golden opportunity to lace the positivity of his appearance with an apology for his irresponsible actions last month.
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While Howard was being calmed by former Mavs’ teammate Greg Buckner, two of his publicists efforted to nip the scene in the bud. “We’re gonna cut off the interview right now!”
To his credit, Howard returned minutes later and talked to Lewis and I about all things not marijuana- or handcuff-related. But when asked about new head coach Rick Carlisle and the upcoming season, Howard sorta mumble-grumbled:
“It’s still summer, man.”