This is my first ever fan post, and I'm a wee bit nervous, but it's something I feel like addressing, and this site seems to be pretty nice, so here goes:
In the newest mailbag, Dave brings up some of the (very unreasonable) Juwan Howard bashing, and provides a very clever, humorous analogy, the quality of which I'm slightly jealous.
I can't believe how many people are calling out Juwan and complaining about him, when he's been huge this season. I think far too many people are forgetting the guy is a 37 year old forward who has been forced to play center for a large portion of this season, and, as Dave mentioned, far more minutes than he had become used to.
With all the talk about Miller being the unsung hero of this season, I think people need to realize the impact and influence Juwan has brought to our team as well. (Of course he hasn't been the difference maker Andre has, but he wasn't expected to, as Andre was, and he isn't getting the money Andre is) Juwan's impact isn't simply from a playing sense, but his mentality and on/off court antics. Between his banter with the other players, which is evident in every pre-game as the guys are on the court, his throwing of the ice bucket and tearing into the guys after the horrendous OKC game, and his subsequent "oh, really? These guys have never won here? we'll that's going to change tonight" and playfully pounding on the court in Phoenix before a huge win entering the all-star break, and his camaraderie with many of the leagues officials, and opposing players, his influence is all over the place.
Yeah, his offensive game isn't going to make any headlines (unless he dunks again), and yes, sometimes younger, faster players make him look like the 37 year old he is on defense, but he's been a solid contributer when asked, and there are several games this season we don't win without "old man river" out there for us.
Remember, also, that he came to Portland as an "insurance policy." If I could find an insurance policy with that huge of a payoff in any life situation, I'd be jumping for joy, not whining about whatever the real life equivalent of a few missed shots, and a few missed defensive stops may be.
I personally love the guy, he's quickly become one of my favorite players.
Plus, the guy's smile is incredible and very infectious.