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2 days ago, Anthony from the Winston-Salem Chronicle, posted an interview with Josh that really had me buying into (even more than before that is) this thing that Josh was turning a corner to maturity.  Something that kinda stood out to me when they were talking about his image after last spring...

Anthony:  I feel that. Um, do you want to be seen as a guy that’s purely about his community?

Josh:  Definitely. That’s the way I’ve been from the jump. I had a chance to play with the Olympic team. But I turned that down. That would be a big dream for anybody else to go out there and win a gold for the United States. For me, growing up in Morningside and walking to Reynolds Park, I didn’t have a male role model besides my step dad and my older cousin.

I feel like if I’m around these young men and young women I can show them that there’s a positive guy that’s going to give them a chance — no matter what. Hopefully they can see they can do whatever they want to do as long as they stay positive.

It was a great read, but a little less than 32 hours later, Josh was arrested.  Great.  Time to freak out though?

But lets not lose sight of the issue at hand here.  Some people are reacting like Josh just commited murder, jumped into the stands to take out a fan, or even actually got busted for a DUI or possesion of marajuana.  Guys, relax.

Fish sums it up best on how Mavs fans, be they a fan of Josh or not, are reacting...

10 If you are already in the “Trade-This-Goofball’’ Camp, you use this as support of your position. If you are in the ‘Aw-Josh-Is-A-Good-Kid’’ Camp, you dismiss this with great ease. Either way, though, you have to concede: The “Josh-Has-Turned-The-Corner-And-Matured’’ Camp oughta be pretty much fresh out of campers.

Fandom can be a fragile thing. The Mavs roster isn’t occupied by guys waving guns at strip clubs (we let our football team handle that). But getting this thing fixed – and rejuvenating the membership of The “Josh-Has-Turned-The-Corner-And-Matured’’ Camp with counseling rather than with platitudes – is critical to the overall health of the franchise.

I actually wonder about the officer who pulled Josh over.  I by no means am familar with the laws of what qualifies as to what is deserving of someone being arrested or not, but I am having a hard time understanding as to what exactly went through the cops mind when he pulled Josh over and arrested him.

Was this an O.J.-type chase?  Did the cop have to call in back up after Josh refused to pull over?  Was Josh trashed or high?  Was he uncooperative and aggressive to the officer?

Early reports suggest the opposite in fact, with the cop saying that "he was polite and corporative."  What we don't know, is if the officer had probable cause to search the car for anything that should not have been there.

So the cop pulls him over late last night on what was probably an empty freeway, in Winston-Salem and sees its the hometown hero, Josh Howard.  What exactly goes through this cops mind then?   Does he think this is something out of the 2 Fast, 2 Furious movie that Josh is doing here?  I guess I am finding it hard to believe that Josh being the celebrity type figure he is there, and without any signs of intoxication and/or drugs, why the cop would not have just written him a ticket for 25 over and let him go?

I'm in no means suggesting that Josh be let of the hook here, or that this is ok... I'm just finding it hard to believe that given who Josh is in that town, what he is there currently doing with the kids and charity stuff, and with no signs of drugs or alcohol, that the cop felt the need to arrest him on sight.

Are we really upset that he admitted to using pot during the off-season, threw a birthday party, and was arrested for speeding?  Personally, I'm not.  Infact I could really care less.

What has me and I think most of us up in a roar, is the poor timing of these incidences, which have had a huge rippling  effect on the bettering of this team.  (I also am curious as to what kind of Lexus he could be racing (IS-F would have to be to small for him.  GS?  They aren't THAT fast, unless tricked out) and to what kinda of car he lost the race too, which therefore lead the officer to pull him over first ;) )

If the weed incident had come after the playoffs, I cant imagine it having the same type of effect had it come out then, as opposed to right in the middle of a playoff series.  Had he chosen to wait then, the birthday thing probably doesnt get blown out of proportion like it had, then, the trade rumors and low ball offers from other teams surrounding him are not considered, and then this arrest is not that big of a deal.  Timing on any one of these could have changed that.

I have not given up hope on Josh, we all make mistakes.  And this is not the time to bring up the "trade Josh" rumors either... though its also not time to bring up the "we love our team" sayings as well.  Its time to take it for what it is (a speeding violation and reckless driving) and put it behind us. 

If this becomes the focal point and problem for the Mavs, it will actually turn into an even bigger distraction than in last years playoffs.  And then we might see ourselves on the King's or Grizzlies end of any trade deal that would be made.