$100 Million Dollar Bland: Washington's Juwan Howard Got Pay for Steady Play

Willy YoderContributor ISeptember 24, 2009

6 Feb 1999:  Juwan Howard #5 of the Washington Wizards in action during the game against the Toronto Raptors at the MCI Center in Washington, D.C. The Wizards defeated the Raptors 97-98.  Mandatory Credit: Ezra O. Shaw  /Allsport

Just when you think the NBA has seen enough Juwan Howard, someone inevitably reaches out and asks for just a little bit more. This was the case last week when the talent laden Portland Trail Blazers reached out and said, eh why not…black socks and the Fab-Five never go out of style.

For many fans Juwan Howard was the embodiment of the clubs disappointing decade of the 1990’s. He, alongside fellow Michigan alumni Chris Webber, was believed to be the savior of the franchise. In the end, the only one who needed saving in Washington was Howard; from the fans.

While the power-forwards career started with a bang for Washington, he could never live up to the expectations of being the NBA’s first $100 million man and could never be the dominating post presence many anticipated. Howard never once reached All-Star status following his record breaking contract, and this left many in Washington disappointed, bitter, and angry.

But while many in Washington are left bitter about what Juwan Howard wasn’t, it is often overlooked what he actually was.

No, he was not a player who could carry a franchise by scoring in the paint, or the type of player who demanded double teams in the post, or even one you could rely on to grab 10 rebounds a game. He was not a player worth $100 million or a player that the Bullets should have tried to build a franchise around.

No, Juwan Howard simply was, and is, simple and solid.

Looking at Howard’s career as a whole and expectations free, one sees an undersized power forward, with limited athletic ability, who was able to average 17 points per game or more 10 times in his 15-year career. That to anyone looking at it in the right light, is a valuable big man.

The most important thing Howard has brought to this league is not his ability to score in the post like a 55-year-old playing pick up basketball at a rec-center, but his quiet demeanor and his modesty he brought to the NBA.

Some may scoff at a player signing not one, but two (one was void) $100 million deals as being modest, but when did you ever hear Howard brag, boast, showboat, or well…speak? Howard simply shut up and did his job. When his skills diminished, he re-learned how to score, always keeping his low post moves tight, and his shooting percentage high.

In Howard the Blazers received a hard working leader who can bring experience to a young squad that needs it.