Remember when Josh Howard's long-known affinity for offseason weed throttled the sports media during the playoffs, basically shutting down ESPN TV for an entire Friday? As the media remains rather quiet on Brad Miller's suspension, Shoals at The Sporting Blog raises an excellent point.
I don't mean to raise any hackles here, but Miller's career has had some serious ups and downs. Howard's, with the exception of 2007-08's troubled second half, has been one big upward trend. Miller beat the odds, but was mediocre for a while; Howard established himself as a force in his first season on a playoff-bound Mavs team. Oh, and Howard came out and admitted this hobby of his unprovoked, just to try and be honest, while Miller's been straight busted.
It's true, I'm something of a Howard apologist. But how is Miller's drug intake not more worthy of condemnation than Howard's?
The traditional basketball byproduct of weed has been believed to be uneven, inconsistent focus. This could be a complete myth, but: Chris Webber, Jason Williams, Keon Clark, Brad Miller. Uneven, inconsistent focus ... that sound about right?
The reported reason for Miller's bad focus in 2006-07 -- and I heard straight from his mouth at media day last year -- was family problems, with the premature birth of his daughter Anniston and a harrowing set of health issues at home. But what about late in 2005-06, when Miller vacillated between vital and awful? What about sections of 2007-08, when Brad shrunk from 'double-doubles animal-style' to 8 points/3 rebounds against the Heat?
I'm not asking the media to go ballistic over this, and I know Shoals isn't either. Marijuana in professional sports should probably be treated with less hysteria, if anything. But the sheer imbalance of coverage in these cases, and the lack of any investigation or analysis as to how the smokers actually hurt their teams is a bit appalling. If Josh Howard deserves weeks of public flogging, so does Brad.