More than Mavs could ask for
In 2004, I covered the Dallas Mavericks' draft. That was the year the Mavericks, drafting late in the first round, took a kid from Wake Forest, Josh Howard. Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said all the right things about Howard, but you got the impression if they got much at all from him in the coming years they'd be thrilled.
But that's not all that I remember from that night. No, there is a better story than that.
The Mavericks' draft was held in a meeting room in the American Airlines Center that day. That same night there was a Justin Timberlake concert in the arena.
While the draft was going on, you could see into the Mavericks' practice gym and there was Dirk Nowitzki shooting baskets with Timberlake.
Dallas being Dallas, media went scurrying to interview Timberlake only to be rebuffed.
Why does this matter now? On Thursday, the same night Nowitzki hung half a hundred on Phoenix, Howard scored 23 points. And, oh by the way, the Mavs are 24-0 when Howard scores 20 or more points.
Nowitzki didn't know it at the time, but the guy the Mavericks were drafting was a guy who was going to help push him deeper into the NBA playoffs -- and a guy with a brighter future than Timberlake.