Doing some spring cleaning while watching the NBA playoffs on Sunday, I found myself ripping off covers of old ESPN The Magazines and trashing the rest, but not before quickly flipping through to make sure nothing was keep-able.
Times were different in December 2007. Well, not so much for Wizards fans. The turmoil was just getting started with the news that Gilbert Arenas would be having a second surgery on his knee just two weeks old. That December 3rd edition of ESPN The Magazine ironically had part of an NBA advertisement featuring a picture of Arenas and the words, “Where I’m back happens.”
In that same edition, which had Terrell Owens giving Tony Romo ‘bunny ears’ on the cover (Jason Witten was in the picture too), was the above ‘Got Milk?’ advertisement featuring two former Dallas Mavericks, coach Avery Johnson and player Josh Howard.
December 2007 represented some of the last days of NBA harmony for each Howard and Johnson. The Mavericks as a one-seed lost to the eight-seed Warriors the previous Spring, an ’06-07 season where Howard also represented the Mavs in the NBA All-Star game. But from there, it would go further downhill.
The Mavs finished ’07-08 as a seven-seed in the West, losing to the New Orleans Hornets in the first round. Johnson was fired days later. Howard would subsequently go through a tumultuous six-month span in 2008, including some off-court incidents that severely damaged his public image.
Things are different for all involved parties now. Well, not so much for Dallas. The Mavs are in the midst of a 10-year run of consecutive playoff appearances. And the Wizards are the Wizards. Johnson is working as an NBA analyst for ESPN and Howard is with those woeful Wizards, recovering from a knee injury which occurred in February, before he was supposed to enter the Summer of 2010 as a free-agent.
Howard’s career is now at a crossroads of the unknown … but at least he’ll always have that ‘Got Milk?’ ad.
Josh Howard’s 2010 Washington Wizards Exit Interview
[before the Wizards' season finale versus the Indiana Pacers on April 14, 2010]