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Old 05-09-06, 01:09 AM
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Josh Howard: The One Who Got Away From The Spurs

Buck Harvey: Wake mistake — Spurs face a rare, wrong choice

Web Posted: 05/09/2006 12:00 AM CDT

San Antonio Express-News

They've been the model of scouting. Of vision. Of luck.

That's why a Spurs mistake is glaring now, and it could come into view as early as tonight. Just as someone from Wake Forest decided the first game of the Spurs-Mavericks series, another could decide the second.

Meet Josh Howard.

The One Who Got Away.

Howard is unaware he got away from anyone. He says he's never heard of the angst in San Antonio.

This goes back a few years. Tim Duncan was at Wake at the time, schooling collegians as he did the Dallas 7-footers on Sunday. Watching from the stands, just a skinny kid, was a Winston-Salem native.

Howard said he met Duncan once in those days. But mostly, he admired Duncan from afar, and for good reason. Howard was a high-school post player, and he wanted to learn Duncan's footwork.

Years passed. Duncan went to San Antonio, Howard followed him to Wake. Howard stayed in school for four years, just as Duncan did, and his senior year, he was the first unanimous ACC player of the year since David Thompson in 1975.

Yes, that means Duncan was not.

Howard seemingly did everything well. Pro scouts liked the 6-foot-7 package, though most saw Howard falling toward the bottom of the LeBron-Carmelo-Wade first round. Several mock drafts, coincidentally, predicted the Spurs would take him.

"Howard is a versatile scorer at small forward," a West Coast newspaper wrote then, "who could complement defensive specialist Bruce Bowen."

The Spurs understood as much. But the two prospects who intrigued them more were Boris Diaw, Tony Parker's buddy who stars now for Phoenix, and Ndudi Ebi, a high-school project out of Houston who has since failed.

Howard? The Spurs were less fixated on him than they were creating cap room to sign Jason Kidd. Howard still earns less than a million dollars, making him the kind of bargain that Parker and Manu Ginobili once were. But unsure what the salary cap would be that summer, the Spurs wanted to free every dollar for Kidd.

In hindsight, the Kidd plan was as erroneous as the Spurs' analysis of Howard. They saw Howard as a slasher, and they already had one in Ginobili. Didn't they really need shooters to spread the floor for Duncan?

Even after coming up with a find with the 28th selection just two years before (Parker), they still didn't like the odds with another No.28. When Diaw and Ebi went off the board, the Spurs traded that first-round choice to the Suns for one in the future.

Gregg Popovich signed off on it with only one reservation. He knew Duncan liked Howard.

Then Dallas, drafting next, took Howard, and Popovich quickly second-guessed everything. Having just edged the Mavericks in the Western Conference finals, had the Spurs helped their rivals?

They have. But a lot of other teams missed then, too. If the 2003 draft were held again, Howard would go as high as fifth.

Weighed against the Spurs' body of work, guessing wrong at No.28 should be forgivable. It happens. Besides, luck matters as much as homework late in the draft, and even the Spurs' successes show that.

If the Spurs really knew what Ginobili would become, why did they wait until No.57 to take him? They took someone else in 1999, with a draft-day trade, at No.40.

But logic doesn't change what has followed. Howard has become the Mavericks' second-best player, as well as someone who would fit beautifully next to Parker and Ginobili.

Howard isn't without flaws. He's not much of a passer, and Sunday showed that. He finished without an assist, as well as a season high in turnovers.

His defensive reputation, too, comes with an asterisk. He's a high-energy gambler, not a stopper as Bowen is. Dallas will often put him on Bowen instead of Ginobili, for example.

Still, he can rebound and score and fill the cracks that his teammates leave behind. Sometimes that means he gets lost among the Mavericks' shooters, but he can change games just doing that.

Howard almost did Sunday; he led the Mavericks at halftime in scoring. So tonight he comes back for another chance, as the rare Spurs' mistake.

As the One Who Got Away.

http://www.mysanantonio.com/sports/c....1258ad56.html
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Old 05-09-06, 01:10 AM
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Oh brother...
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Old 05-09-06, 01:14 AM
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J-How is a tad bit overrated, but that might just be my form of pushback from the immense amount of unsubstantiated hype I get on a daily basis from Mavs fans.

Show me a team worried about losing Keith Van Horn, and I'll show you a team that the Spurs can put out of its misery.
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Old 05-09-06, 01:40 AM
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A haha should I even comment on the article?
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Old 05-09-06, 01:42 AM
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About how much you hate Buck Harvey's writing style and his articles are all the same and predictable??

Sure, why not?
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Old 05-09-06, 02:08 AM
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I think this reflects the dream team mentality. I don't think Howard fits our system, but he works in Dallas. Maybe he could have grown into it. Or maybe he would have sucked and been sent elsewhere only to thrive.
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Old 05-09-06, 02:37 AM
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the last part of Bucks column made me laugh, he can't pass defend but he scores and rebounds. Didn't we dump Stephen Jackson? They sound like the same guy to me.

We need a replacement for Bowen but guys like Jackson and Howard are common. Finding gems like Bowen are rare. Guys who are selfless and want to play defense, thats what we need not another guy who requires the ball to be effective.
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Old 05-09-06, 02:40 AM
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I'd say its one of the few mistakes the Spurs made. But they were less willing to take on guys that year to chase after Kidd.
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Old 05-09-06, 08:24 AM
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The draft pick we traded to Phoenix?

Leandro Barbosa
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Old 05-09-06, 08:50 AM
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you guys are crazy. i thought we would pick howard and was disappointed that we didn't. i'm sure it's made a difference in other ways - having money for free agents, and a pick to trade for nazr - but howard would have been a big help on the spurs no doubt. i read where tim mentions that to the brass on a regular basis.
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Old 05-09-06, 09:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grego
I'd say its one of the few mistakes the Spurs made. But they were less willing to take on guys that year to chase after Kidd.
and Duncan was in favor of the Kidd pursuit anyway
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Old 05-09-06, 09:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DizzG
and Duncan was in favor of the Kidd pursuit anyway
Duncan is one smart dude..........
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Old 05-09-06, 10:21 AM
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duncan was a fool

kidd played horrible tell he got vc
he was hurt and looked old
kidd also would have meant no manu

but yep duncan was smart
kidd is not so good that the spurs could lose manu for him

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grego
I'd say its one of the few mistakes the Spurs made. But they were less willing to take on guys that year to chase after Kidd.
might not have been a mistake

howard might have been a exit of another spur right now
or howard would be benched and not as good as he is now
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Old 05-09-06, 10:32 AM
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I think Howard DID get away. He would've been great here.
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Old 05-09-06, 10:38 AM
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who do you think he would have replaced?
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Old 05-09-06, 10:39 AM
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At the 28th spot, Howard would have been a great pick for the Spurs, but I'm sure they'll find a SF to work into Bruce's spot somehow. I'm just glad they didn't waste the pick on Ndudi Ebi.
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Old 05-09-06, 10:41 AM
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I'd like a guy like this too, although he won't solve our problem against big SF in this league. He'd be better than SJax/Hedo/Barry.
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Old 05-09-06, 10:45 AM
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Howard can flat out play. I wish the Spurs would have got him...but I like our chances with the personnell that we have.
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Old 05-09-06, 10:56 AM
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do you think if the spurs got him that they would have signed barry?

right now I do not see him as a starter on the spurs

manu and bowen start

or would you have manu come off the bench and start howard?

would howard be good at coming off the bench?

he is good I just do not see him starting now

bowen needs to start IMO

do you think he really got away or would the spurs have sent him over seas for a year or 2 to get better?
then brought him over?
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Old 05-09-06, 11:16 AM
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I like Josh Howard. I think he's been playing really well and regardless of what some of you guys say, he's a threat to the continued success of our team in this playoffs. He is good.
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Old 05-09-06, 11:18 AM
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Quoting a SpursReport Team Veteran:

Who cares? We won a championship without him.

It's irrelevant now.
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Old 05-09-06, 11:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by telecomguy
Duncan is one smart dude..........
Yeah but the Spurs were looking at Kidd AND Parker
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Old 05-09-06, 12:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ducks
duncan was a fool

kidd played horrible tell he got vc
he was hurt and looked old
kidd also would have meant no manu

but yep duncan was smart
kidd is not so good that the spurs could lose manu for him


might not have been a mistake

howard might have been a exit of another spur right now
or howard would be benched and not as good as he is now
kidd got injured and didn't play as well when he got better because his team changed in the year he was hurt. you are leaving a lot of that story out.
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Old 05-09-06, 12:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DizzG
Quote:
Originally Posted by telecomguy
Quote:
Originally Posted by DizzG
and Duncan was in favor of the Kidd pursuit anyway
Duncan is one smart dude..........
Yeah but the Spurs were looking at Kidd AND Parker


Hooked!
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Old 05-09-06, 12:47 PM
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You could take a Buck Harvey column, replace the names with different names, and use synonyms for all the adjectives, and have Buck Harvey's previous column.

Yea! LoL!

$
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Old 05-09-06, 01:04 PM
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Buck Harvey's articles are like a game of MadLibs.

And Ducks, stop being a tool.
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Old 05-09-06, 01:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Money4Nothing
You could take a Buck Harvey column, replace the names with different names, and use synonyms for all the adjectives, and have Buck Harvey's previous column.

Yea! LoL!

$
thats about right

they are all the same
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Old 05-09-06, 01:19 PM
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F'n KIDD! I wish he'd just signed an extension earlier that year. I'm glad Mourning screwed him and I'm glad he's never going to win a ring. Josh Howard should have been a Spur.
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Old 05-09-06, 01:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ginobili20
F'n KIDD! I wish he'd just signed an extension earlier that year. I'm glad Mourning screwed him and I'm glad he's never going to win a ring. Josh Howard should have been a Spur.
What's ur problem with Kidd?
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Old 05-09-06, 01:38 PM
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He led the Spurs on like no other. Josh Howard got away because of it. He's probably the reason the Spurs didn't pick up Speedy's option. I'm sure others got away as well. What should have been turned into Rasho, Ron Mercer, Hedo, Anthony Carter.
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