Juwan Howard signs 10-day with Heat
Juwan Howard was on the floor for the final moments of the win
that clinched last season’s NBA championship for the Miami
Turns out, that might not have been his last game as a pro.
The Heat brought Howard back on Saturday, signing the
40-year-old power forward to a 10-day contract. It will be his 19th
NBA season, and he’s expected to be with the team on Sunday when
Miami visits the New York Knicks.
And after the way Heat President Pat Riley described the move,
it doesn’t appear to be one made just on a whim.
”Juwan is a key part of the championship culture here in
Miami,” Riley said Saturday in a statement released by the Heat.
”He is essential to this team and can still play this game at a
high level in some of our biggest games yet to come. He has a
unique veteran savvy and will provide leadership and experience to
The Heat did not practice Saturday before gathering to fly to
The move was one that the Heat were considering even last fall.
When the Heat won the NBA title – Howard’s first ring – he was the
first player back to resume workouts at the team practice facility,
doing so less than a week after 400,000 fans showed up for the
team’s championship parade through downtown Miami.
Howard said then that if he played again, it would be in Miami.
And when the Heat decided in September to not sign him to the
training camp roster, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said that the club
would consider bringing him into the mix later in the season if
things worked out.
With an open roster spot and amid a very hectic March schedule –
18 games in all – the Heat apparently decided Saturday was right to
make a move.
Howard has played in 1,201 career games, including 85 over the
past two seasons with Miami, which originally signed him in July
2010. Heat players like Dwyane Wade and LeBron James both
consistently raved about Howard’s leadership role in the locker
room during his stint with the team, and Howard has been seen at
several Miami games this season.
According to STATS LLC, the signing of Howard means Miami has
four of the NBA’s top 19 active scoring leaders, the others being
Ray Allen (No. 5, 23,533 points), James (No. 8, 20, 562 points) and
Wade (No. 19, 16,109 points). Howard, for now anyway, is No. 18 on
that list, 29 points ahead of Wade.