Thursday, February 25, 2010
The JuJu: The Luck that is Juwan Howard
I've had this theory inside my pockets since I realized that every team that Juwan Howard played in ended up in shambles no matter how good they were. I wouldn't even try to explain how I would eventually point the finger to Juwan Howards bad luck regarding the controversial timeout that Webber called in that Fab 5 team. So lets try to backtrack how Howard did with his teams throughout his career.
Juwan Howard was drafted 14th overall by the Washington Bullets in 94-95. He played very well along side former Fab 5 teammate, Chris Webber. During the 95-96 season, everyone thought that they'll finally make some post season run with Howard, Webber, rookie Rasheed Wallace and veterans Robert Pack and Mark Price. But then it suddenly happend. Webber, Price and Pack missed almost the entire season due to injuries causing the Bullets to miss the playoffs with the 39-43 record. They made the playoffs the following year but ended up being swept by the Bulls. They continued to miss playoffs year after year that eventually led to the trade of Chris Webber for Mitch Richmond. They continued to miss the playoffs which then made Michael Jordan make a blockbuster trade that sent Juwan to Dallas in the 2000-2001 season.
His first season in Dallas was great. They ended to get beat by San Antonio in the conference semi-finals 4-1 so I had nothing against JuJu in this season. To top it off this was the season that saw the Mavericks playoff drought end. The Mavs followed the season with another successful run that saw them get beat by the Sacramento Kings in the conference semi-finals.
But Juwan never saw that post season because he was traded to Denver during the trade deadline that year.
He joined the scrappy lineup of the Nuggets that year that consisted him, Ryan Bowen, Calbert Cheaney, George McCloud and James Posey. They didn't go far with 27-55 that season.
The 2002-2003 was much worse, although they did get Nene that year, they still ended up with a lowly 17-65 record.
He was then signed by the Orlando Magic as a free agent during the 03-04 season. Along with Andrew DeClerq, Tracy McGrady, DeShawn Stevenson and Tyronn Lue they brought the Magic to reach their final straw with their T-Mac experiment and opted to go for Stevie Franchise during the offseason after seeing their team finish up with a 21-61 record.
He was then traded to the Houston Rockets along with T-Mac for Francis and Mobely. The Magic then drafted Dwight Howard and Jameer Nelson that same year. The Magic went on with their lives, successful after they traded away Juwan Howard
The Rockets started the new era with a blast ending the regular season with a 51-31 record with T-Mac and Yao on the helm. However, they didn't go past the 1st round of the playoffs to the Dallas Mavericks after leading the series 2-0 in seven games. T-Mac playoff curse? or the Juwan Howard curse all over again?
The following season (05-06) was a typical Juwan Howard season for any of his team. T-Mac and Yao missed a total of 70 games that year, which saw them finish the season with a 34-48.
The Rockets improved to 52 wins (06-07) and made the playoffs again only to see themselves get ripped out by the Jazz in seven games.
Juwan Howard was then traded to the Minesotta Timberwolves for Mike James and Justin Reed. My theory is that KG knew what to do when Juwan comes to town... bolt out. KG went to the Celtics that year and won the Championship. Juwan was waived by the wolves and picked up by the Mavericks a month later.
In a typical Juwan Howard fashion. The Mavs went in the playoffs that year, and eventually lost to the Hornets 4 games to 1.
Denver signed him during the off season but was released shortly because of the Allen Iverson trade. He joined the Bobcats, and we all know what became of the Bobcats that year, they ended up with 35 wins.
Denver on the other hand went on to top the Northwest division with 54-28.
And this is where Juwan Howard is in full bloom.
Portland signed Juwan Howard for a 1 year contract. And it's been weird for Portland so far.
The Trail Blazers are experiencing a revival from their 'Jail Blazers' era and with Brandon Roy, LaMarcus Aldridge and Greg Oden finally being looked on to start and finish the season well the Blazers (like the Wizards of old) is in full hope to reach far in the playoffs this year. With their solid lineup, and deep bench that boasts of players like Rudy Fernandez, Nicolas Batum, Jerryd Bayless, Martell Webster, Travis Outlaw and veteran Andre Miller the Portland faithful would really dream, and dream big.
They forgot they had Juwan Howard locked deep on their bench. And we all know that Juwan Howard doesn't get locked down on anyones bench.
The Blazers then experienced a plague that no one, not even Ramses can ever fathom.
Nicolas Batum, Brandon Roy, Travis Outlaw, Greg Oden, Joel Pryzbilla are the few names that they saw go down this season. Not to mention the brief absence of LaMarcus Aldridge and the recent addition Marcus Camby (who I warned about Juwan Howard) also tweaked his ankle yesterday.
I'm telling you, with the string of early playoff exits, injured stars and other stuff along with it. Any team should be careful when signing Juwan Howard. I won't be surprised if Portland exits the playoffs early this year. Juwan, wherever he is will strike and strike again.
This is the case of the bad JuJu that follows Howard throughout his career.