Howard might have been jumping for joy inside when he got traded to Washington. Not because the Wizards are any good, but because it was in Washington last month that he drank so much, he couldn't play the next day.
We knew the Mavericks were fed up with Howard making headlines for things other than basketball (see: smoking weed, trashing the National Anthem, street racing), but we didn't know just how much of a distraction his off-court activities had become.
You often learn more about how a player was regarded within an organization in the days after his exit, and the post-trade trashing in Dallas has begun in earnest. Not just a source, but "multiple team sources" say that Howard missed a Jan. 20th game with a hangover. At the time, it was reported as a stomach illness.
I'm immensely impressed by two things here: that Howard was able to drink so much, he was still sick for a 7 p.m. start the next day, and that Howard was actually able to find something to do in Washington on a Tuesday night.
Howard didn't start that game, and in fact hasn't started since. Probably not because he was hung over for every game, but because Dallas made up their mind then and there to protect his trade value.
But, in Howard's defense, you can't say this was particularly out of character. Back in the '08 playoffs, after a game four in which Howard shot 3 of 16, and Dallas fell into a 3-1 hole against the Hornets, Howard passed out flyers in the locker room inviting his teammates to his birthday party later that night. The coaches got wind of it and canceled practice the next day, and the Mavs would go on to get knocked out.
The Mavs are probably thrilled to be rid of him. The Wizards have failed miserably in their attempts to bring in character guys.
Conduct may have led to Howard trade [ESPN.com]