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by Mike Fisher    Fri, Aug 1, 2008, 04:48 PM

Want it in the form of a joke? Apparently, Josh Howard’s struggles as a driver extend beyond the basketball court.

Want it in a more chilling form? Apparently, Josh Howard's never heard of Bobby Phills.




J-Ho, in the process of trying to do the right thing by going home to North Carolina to oversee his sponsorship of a youth basketball league, couldn’t get through the week without another brush with misbehavior.

The Mavericks standout was arrested and charged Thursday after a Winston-Salem police officer said he spotted Howard drag racing at 94 mph with another vehicle on Silas Creek Parkway near Highway 421. Howard was charged with drag racing, exceeding the posted speed limit, and reckless driving to endanger.

Boys will be boys? Sure, to a point. But Howard’s emotional year (deaths in his family), the marijuana silliness, the mutiny-like dealings with his coach, and the decline of his game that saw him become a jumpshooter instead of the slasher and the driver he used to be, all cause Mavs fans to wish that his head was screwed on more tightly than this.

This innocent – as innocuous as some may think it – also causes Mavs fans to question the wisdom of a Mavericks braintrust that is intent on relying on Josh, his qualities as a person, and his ability to recapture his All-Star-level game.

Our thoughts. … in the form of Top 10 Hairy-Chested Takes about Josh Howard’s arrest for drag racing:

10 If you are already in the “Trade-This-Goofball’’ Camp, you use this as support of your position. If you are in the ‘Aw-Josh-Is-A-Good-Kid’’ Camp, you dismiss this with great ease. Either way, though, you have to concede: The “Josh-Has-Turned-The-Corner-And-Matured’’ Camp oughta be pretty much fresh out of campers.

Fandom can be a fragile thing. The Mavs roster isn’t occupied by guys waving guns at strip clubs (we let our football team handle that). But getting this thing fixed – and rejuvenating the membership of The “Josh-Has-Turned-The-Corner-And-Matured’’ Camp with counseling rather than with platitudes – is critical to the overall health of the franchise.

9 In a TV interview from Carolina – taped, I presume, before the arrest – Josh says his crippler issue and the ensuing coverage taught him something.

“I also found out I’m a celebrity,’’ he said.

Really, kid? You just now figured that out?

7 I assume the cops didn’t bother sniffing around the glove compartment.

6 The Winston-Salem TV station that apparently broke the story refers to him “the Dallas Mavericks guard.’’ Do they know something about a position change that we don’t know?

5 Josh’s court date is Sept. 23. Grand. Just in time for it to be a major story the week before the opening of training camp.

4 The cops reported that Josh was “polite and cooperative.’’ Which he always is. But, if you regularly misbehave while also being unfailingly polite and cooperative, you are what the shrinks call “passive/aggressive.’’

3 I’m looking forward to asking Josh about this incident, and maybe hearing him say that the Lexus sorta had a mind of its own.

“You can’t control what the car do,’’ J-Ho might say. “It’s craaazy.’’

2 Good joke from my man DaMavs02: Josh was driving a black Lexus, and racing against a white VW Golf. And the Golf got away. Are the cops guilty of racial profiling here?

1 Let’s not dismiss 94-in-a-55 as insignificant. This drag-racing incident happened on a street in North Carolina. On another street in North Carolina, there was once another drag race. Hey, J-Ho: Ever heard of the late Bobby Phills?


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