Josh Howard: "The Wizards see a natural-born leader in me"

Josh Howard: "The Wizards see a natural-born leader in me"


Josh Howard: "The Wizards see a natural-born leader in me"

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How are you feeling about the injury?

Josh Howard: As far as me, I’m feeling excited about the new season. Looking forward to be around these young guys and seeing what they know about the game. As far as my health, it’s going great. I’m rehabbing on schedule and hopefully I’ll be back in October or November.

Are you going to be conservative about the knee or force the issue a little?

JH: I’ve been forcing the issue right now as far as rehab so when I come back I will be confident and do the things that I’ve been doing.

Do you think you will have to change your game a little bit after the injury?

JH: Don’t want to change my game. Want to keep doing the things that got me to this point in my career. Just being consistent and being a positive player on the court.

For most players a knee injury in a contract year is a big blow, but you sounded pretty optimistic about your future after it happened. Why was that?

JH: I believe in myself. I’m confident about what I can accomplish in the future. I keep a positive attitude. When I got here to DC, the front office and the team made me feel like I was one of them. That really helped me out in my decision to come back here.

Were there any down moments during the rehab?

JH: Nah, no down moments. I could take a vacation! (laughs).

Why do you think the Wizards took a gamble on you? It’s not very common that a team makes an investment on a player that’s injured. Why do they have this confidence in you?

JH: They see a natural-born leader. They got a guy that loves to win games, loves to play, has a total enjoyment for the game… I appreciate that they gave me the chance and I will take advantage of it.

Do you feel your reputation is tarnished around the NBA after the incidents of the past few years?

JH: No, I wouldn’t say that. Those things are in the past. People go through situations and you have to better yourself from them. I think I’ve done that. I know I’ve done that. I know the Wizards know that. Them and other teams in the NBA.

What have you learned from those experiences?

JH: Just stay positive. Don’t try to hurt nobody’s feelings if anything, to put it that way. Just stay positive no matter what. That’s it.

How did you feel when Dallas traded you to Washington and how do you feel about it now?

JH: I went my way, they went their way. It just happened. I’m in DC and I’m trying to move on and I wish them the best. And I know they wish me the best.

What type of player will you try to be for Washington? A role player or something else?

JH: Like I said earlier, I’m not trying to change my game. Just doing the things that I’ve been doing in the NBA. Hopefully I can fit in with this new group of guys. I think I showed the coach and the front office that I can do that. That’s another reason why they were confident about bringing me back around here.

There’s a lot of players with the ability to score on the Wizards this year. Who do you think is going to be the No. 1, No. 2, No. 3 option?

JH: It’s kind of hard to answer right now. I know Gil has been around the longest, so maybe he would be No. 1 if I had to answer that question right now. As far as 2, 3 or 4, I don’t have an answer right now.

As far as talent, where does this team rank among the teams you have played for in the NBA?

JH: Oh, talent-wise the sky is the limit for this team. It’s a young team. Blatche, McGee, Nick Young, No. 1 pick John Wall and a host of other guys. These guys have tremendous upside. If we stay focused and stay dedicated to the game, the sky is the limit for them. I think that’s one other reason they brought me in here – to be a leader. I think I can take those guys on the right path.

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