Mavs’ Howard in flap over national anthem

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DALLAS The battered reputation of Josh Howard took another hit this week when an online video surfaced showing the Dallas Mavericks forward disrespecting the national anthem.

DALLAS     The battered reputation of Josh Howard took another hit this week when an online video surfaced showing the Dallas Mavericks forward disrespecting the national anthem. In a video posted on YouTube, Howard is shown on a football field at a charity flag football game. As the national anthem plays in the background, Howard approaches a camera and says, "’The Star-Spangled Banner is going on right now. I don’t even celebrate that (expletive). I’m Black." Howard’s agent, Jeff Schwartz, did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment. Donnie Nelson, the Mavericks’ president of basketball operations, directed questions to team owner Mark Cuban, who, in an e-mail, declined to comment. The incident is the latest off-court problem for Howard, a fifth-year pro from Wake Forest who averaged 19.9 points and seven rebounds last season. He was arrested in July when police said he was drag racing at 94 mph in a 55 zone. Howard was criticized last season for saying in a radio interview during a first-round playoff series against New Orleans that he occasionally smokes marijuana. Later that same series, he angered coach Avery Johnson by throwing himself a birthday bash after a Game 4 loss to the Hornets. AP ______ Copyright 2008 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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